Sunday 19 November 2017

Teen boy faces charge of murdering Melanie (16)

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of teenage traveller Melanie McCarthy-McNamara.

The 16-year-old victim was gunned down in a shooting in February as she sat in the back seat of a car with three others on a housing estate in the Tallaght area of Dublin.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, turns 18 on Thursday.

He was remanded into custody at St Patrick's Institution until October 9, when he will appear at Cloverhill District Court.

The teenage accused is the second person to be charged with the killing, which rocked the traveller community in the local area and also in north London where Melanie had strong family connections.

Dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt, the boy looked straight ahead as he heard details of the charge at Tallaght District Court.

Judge Anthony Halpin said he could think of "no graver a charge" than murder.

The teenager is originally from the Tallaght area, but is believed to have moved out of the area since Melanie's death.

Melanie was in a silver Nissan car which was parked in Brookview Avenue on February 7 when a black 4x4 pulled up next to it and shots were fired.

She was shot in the head and subsequently taken to Tallaght Hospital, where she died.

After the shooting, gardai recovered a shotgun, balaclava and gloves in the Citywest area of Dublin, where the Hyundai vehicle used by the suspects was also found.

Keith Hall, 23, from Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght, was charged with murder two weeks after Melanie's death.

There were angry scenes in the Tallaght courtroom during his hearing in February, with outbursts from many of Melanie's relatives.

People could be heard saying "Dirty bastard rat" and "May you rot" as Hall was led away.

He was also charged with possession of a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun with intent to commit an indictable offence.

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