Suspected gunman held over double murder
Published 12/01/2010 | 05:00
THE suspected gunman in the double murder in the centre of Dublin was in garda custody last night.
The suspect, who is well known to gardai on the west side of the capital, is being questioned about the fatal shootings of Brendan Molyneaux (45), from York Street, and Paddy Mooney (58), of Pearse House, Pearse Street.
He was detained by armed detectives, who surrounded his house in Finglas, within a couple of hours of the shootings and arrested along with his girlfriend.
Investigators suspect he was responsible for firing the shots that killed the two men in Mr Mooney's flat in Pearse House.
Two other suspects were also arrested by detectives in the city centre on Sunday night and held for questioning.
All four were being held in custody last night under section 50 of the Offences Against the State Act which allows gardai to detain them without charge for up to seven days.
The prime suspect has also been linked by gardai with the murder of Anthony Russell, who died in a hail of bullets while having a drink at the Ardilea Inn at Maryfield Avenue, Artane, in April 2008. But he was not thought to have been the gunman in that case.
He is regarded as a 'gun for hire' and is suspected of being involved in a number of shooting incidents.
Gardai believe he has close links with a major gangland figure from Finglas. The gang boss is thought to have given the go-ahead for the 'hit' but was not directly involved.
Two of his other associates from Finglas are suspected of organising the shooting of Mr Molyneaux, who was the target of the attack.
Mr Molyneaux was friends with Mr Mooney, who had no gangland connections, and was visiting him in his flat when two gunmen burst in through the front door at 6.45pm on Sunday.
Mr Molyneaux was known to gardai as an armed robber and a dangerous criminal in the 1980s but in more recent years was said to have become a heavy drinker and involved only in petty crime.
Originally from Glin Avenue in Coolock, he was living in a hostel in York Street in the south inner city.
The two men were having a chat in the flat when the attackers, one masked in a balaclava and the other with a baseball hat pulled down over his face, opened fire, hitting their victims in the head and chest.
Gardai say a handgun was used in the attack and are appealing to witnesses, who might know how the gunmen arrived at the flats complex or made their escape from there.
Detectives said Mr Molyneaux had been targeted because of underworld intelligence that he had agreed to kill the man believed responsible for the murder of criminal Paul 'Farmer' Martin at the Jolly Toper pub in Church Street, Finglas, last August.
The intelligence indicated Mr Molyneaux was to have been paid a sum of money after he had carried out the shooting.
Gardai said he was a very unlikely choice for that task because of his recent drinking and the intelligence had turned him into a soft target for the Martin killers.