Saturday 21 September 2019

'Murder has destroyed us' - Duck Egg's daughter tells of family grief

Noel Kirwan: Murder victim was shot eight times with handgun
Noel Kirwan: Murder victim was shot eight times with handgun

Alison O'Riordan

The daughter of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan - who was murdered in the driveway of his Dublin home - has told the Special Criminal Court that the "only thing" her dad was guilty of was "showing his respect" at a childhood friend's funeral.

"People like this should remember it's not the people who are killed that suffer, it's the families who are left behind," she said.

Donna Kirwan described her dad as a "grafter" and while some of his friends chose to make money the easy way by selling drugs, her father chose to work for a living because that was how he was raised.

The three-judge court also heard Mr Kirwan's son and daughter had talked about ending their lives in the aftermath of their father's death.

The testimony was heard as part of a victim-impact statement read on behalf of Ms Kirwan to the court during Jason Keating's sentence hearing.

The non-jury court also heard Keating was present at the scene of the shooting in Clondalkin, had a role of "real significance" and had facilitated the man who discharged the firearm.

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 was sitting in his new Ford Mondeo on December 22, 2016, when a gunman shot him six times with a Makarov handgun which was recovered at the scene.

The 62-year-old, a "long-time" friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, suffered eight wounds in total to his head, right arm, chest and abdomen. Mr Kirwan's murder arose from a "notorious feud" between two criminal factions but the deceased had no connection with either side.

Jason Keating (27), of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin, admitted last month to participating in or contributing to the murder of Mr Kirwan at St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, between December 20 and 22, 2016.

Keating was on trial 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.

Ms Kirwan said in her victim-impact statement December 22 started as a normal day for the family but turned into their "worst nightmare".

"We have been stripped of everything. We are a shell of the people we both once were. It has destroyed us," she said.

Defence counsel Michael Bowman SC, said Keating had been on the periphery of crime in the past and was not known to be a person associated with any criminal organisation.

Mr Justice Hunt, presiding, with Judge Sinéad Ní Chúalacháin and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded Keating in custody until December 12, when he will be sentenced.

Irish Independent

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