Wednesday 23 October 2019

Father-of-three (27) jailed after helping in the 'execution' of innocent man

Jason Keating: Played a 'significant' role in the murder
Jason Keating: Played a 'significant' role in the murder

Alison O'Riordan

A father-of-three who helped a "sinister and ruthless" criminal organisation carry out the "execution-style murder" of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan has been jailed for 10 years by the Special Criminal Court.

Speaking outside court, Detective Superintendent Sean Campbell said the case showed how an ordinary man with no links to organised crime can be targeted by those involved in Dublin's "organised feud".

Mr Kirwan was "executed" in front of his family members in callous fashion.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the "most disturbing" aspect of the case was that Mr Kirwan had been shot sitting next to his partner Bernadette Roe and that either she had a "lucky escape" or the gunman was "highly efficient".

He also called it "disturbing" Mr Kirwan had apparently been shot for no reason other than pictures of him had appeared in the media in the company of a childhood friend.

The three-judge court previously heard that Mr Kirwan had absolutely no involvement in criminality and the only motive gardaí could establish for his murder was because he had been photographed beside Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

Grief: Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan,’s children Kristopher and Donna, leave court yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Grief: Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan,’s children Kristopher and Donna, leave court yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Jason Keating played a role of "real significance" in the murder as he was present at the scene of the shooting in Clondalkin; was in contact with the person who monitored movements recorded by a tracking device and provided this information via a phone to the assailant.

A 'Gotek7' tracking device was put under Mr Kirwan's car in the weeks leading up to his killing and this could be linked to Keating in the days preceding the murder.

Mr Kirwan (62), a "long-time" friend of Hutch, suffered eight gunshot wounds in total to his head, right arm, chest and abdomen.

His murder arose from a "notorious feud" between two criminal factions but the deceased had no connection with either side.

Mr Kirwan (left) pictured with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Mr Kirwan (left) pictured with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

Keating (27), of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin, admitted in October to participating in or contributing to activity intending to facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Kirwan at St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, between December 20-22, 2016, both dates inclusive.

The offence is contrary to organised crime legislation brought in by Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and has a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Keating was originally tried for the murder of Mr Kirwan but midway through his trial on October 18 he pleaded guilty to facilitating a criminal organisation in committing murder - and this plea was accepted by the DPP.

The court entered a nolle prosequi on the original charge of murder.

Keating was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, backdated to May 2, 2017 when he went into custody.

Irish Independent

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