Suspect held in connection with 2003 murder
Published 19/02/2011 | 05:00
A man wanted by gardai for a murder in Co Offaly almost eight years ago has been arrested in England.
The arrest followed a lengthy investigation by the force's cold case unit into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Dubliner Paul Ryan, whose body was found at the side of a road at Coolderry, Birr, on April 12, 2003.
Mr Ryan's hands had been tied behind his back and he had been shot in the head.
The cold case unit began a review of the case shortly after it was set up in March 2007.
The eight-strong unit, which is headed by Det Supt Christy Mangan, was backed up by Birr gardai initially and then sought the help of police forces overseas.
This culminated in the arrest in Kent on Thursday of 37-year-old Darren Byrne, who is originally from Raheny, Dublin, under the terms of a European arrest warrant.
He was taken by extradition officers to the City of London magistrates court where he was remanded in custody.
Byrne has lived in the UK for several years and is also understood to have resided in Thailand.
He must now decide with his legal team whether to fight the arrest warrant through the British courts or agree to be extradited immediately to face the murder charge in Dublin.
Mr Ryan, who was 27 at the time of his murder, was from Grangemore Lawns, Donaghmede, on the northside of Dublin.
Last year John O'Hanlon, of Millwood, Kilbarrack, Dublin, was charged with withholding information about the murder between April 12, 2003 and June 6, 2007.
O'Hanlon subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
When it was established, the cold case unit was tasked with reviewing unsolved murders that had been committed within the State since 1980.
The unit started with an examination of the files on 207 homicides and then selected a number of murder cases for detailed review.