Tuesday 21 May 2019

Continuity IRA chief's wife tells inquest: I don't know why anyone would want to harm him

Liam Kenny at a demonstration
Liam Kenny at a demonstration

Gareth Naughton

CONTINUITY IRA chief Liam Kenny told his daughter three days before his murder he had a “feeling something bad” was going to happen, an inquest has heard.

The 54-year-old father-of-five was shot multiple times through the door of his home at Shancastle Avenue in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on June 9, 2011.

Kenny was "officer commanding” in the Dublin Continuity IRA and his death has been linked to a dissident republican feud.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard he had been out celebrating his birthday on the night he died and returned home at around 2am. Two hours later there was a knock on the door and he went downstairs to answer it.

In her deposition read into record in her absence, his daughter Deborah Kenny told gardaí she also got up when she heard the knocking as it became louder. “I opened my bedroom door. As I did I heard noises and I heard somebody saying: ‘it’s the guards, open up”,” she said. Her father told her to go back into her room so she went to her bedroom window. She saw two men at the door. One of the men was holding a sledgehammer and banging on the door with it. Glass smashed and then a number of gunshots rang out in quick succession.

Ms Kenny said she saw the two men run out of the front garden toward a getaway car where another man was waiting for them. She shouted “f****** w*****s” at them and one of the men stopped and looked up at her, pausing “as if he was going to come back” to the house but then got in the car.

Another witness told gardaí the driver initially had trouble starting the car and it was cutting out for 20 feet before it got going. Detective Inspector Richard McDonnell said the car, which had been stolen, was later found burnt out two miles away. A firearm was also recovered.

Paramedics attending to Kenny found no vital signs at the scene. He was taken to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The post-mortem was carried out by state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy who found that Kenny had been shot five times with a fatal injury when his aorta was severed.

The dead man’s wife Margaret Kenny told the inquest her husband had not said he was in fear for his life and his death had come as a “big shock”. “I have no idea why this happened to Liam. I don’t know of anybody who would want to do him harm,” she said. 

His daughter Deborah told gardaí that three days before his death Kenny said to her he had a feeling “something bad” was going to happen and he had not been sleeping well.

DI McDonnell said Gardaí were unaware of any threats to Kenny’s life at the time of his death. Despite an extensive investigation involving more than 260 lines of inquiry, no person has been charged with the murder and no file has been sent to the director of public prosecutions. The case remains open but is inactive at this time, he said.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons unknown.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News