Tuesday 17 October 2017

Wedding-day hit suspects are both hiding in Britain

Barry Duggan

TWO criminals – including a hired hitman – who are suspected to have murdered a young criminal at his brother's wedding are hiding out abroad.

The Irish Independent can reveal that gardai investigating the murder of Robert Sheehan (21) in Bunratty, Co Clare, have recently made a number of key arrests and more are expected.

On September 2, Sheehan from Moyross, Limerick, was shot five times in the head outside the Bunratty Castle hotel where his brother's wedding was being held.

Investigating officers believe Sheehan was targeted after he stabbed a well-known criminal in Moyross last July.

The dispute originated after the rival criminal began a relationship with a former girlfriend of Sheehan's.

Lured

Officers are satisfied that there was only one gunman, a hired hitman, involved in the shooting.

It is understood that Sheehan, who had more than 130 criminal convictions, was shot dead in an opportunist attack – and not lured out of the hotel by a phone call – after he stepped outside to have a cigarette.

The suspected gunman and the Limerick-based criminal, who officers think ordered the attack, fled to the UK and this is where both men remain.

The man behind the attack is a well-known figure on Limerick's criminal scene and has links to the McCarthy-Dundon gang.

He previously served a five-year-prison sentence for his role in a shooting incident when members of the opposing Keane-Collopy gang were targeted.

Three months on from Sheehan's murder and gardai have made good progress in their investigations.

Three men, who are suspected to have detailed knowledge of the logistics of the murder were recently arrested and questioned over a series of days in Clare.

Two of the men questioned are from the northside of Limerick city, while the other is from Co Limerick.

Gardai believe the three were involved in the planning of the gun attack and in what happened in the aftermath.

More arrests are expected in the near future.

Sheehan was jailed for two years for his role in the horrific arson attack on two children in Moyross on September 10, 2006.

Tensions

Prior to the fatal gun attack, he had been warned by officers that his life was under threat earlier this year.

Officers have established that a semi-automatic pistol was used to murder Sheehan.

More than 300 witness statements have been taking from hotel employees, guests and those attending the wedding,

Tensions in the Moyross area remain high since the murder.

Irish Independent

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