Friday 20 September 2019

Teenager set to be charged in connection with murder of former dissident commander Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll

Aidan O'Driscoll (37) - nicknamed 'The Beast' (Photo: Sunday World)
Aidan O'Driscoll (37) - nicknamed 'The Beast' (Photo: Sunday World)

Ralph Riegel

A TEENAGER is to be charged today in relation to the murder of a former dissident Republican commander in Cork.

The 19-year-old, who was arrested in Cork early this morning, will appear before the Special Criminal Court in the Dublin Criminal Courts complex in connection with the execution-style killing of Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll (37).

The dissident Republican commander died from shock and hemorrhage after he sustained four gunshot wounds in an execution-style attack weeks before Christmas in 2016.

Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll (37) died after he was ambushed and shot on December 7 as he walked in Blackpool in Cork city.

Detectives fear it was a targeted attack by his old dissident Republican colleagues.

Despite his former dissident Republican associations, he earned his nickname 'The Beast' from his fearless exploits on the GAA pitch as a player.

A Cork coroner's inquest into Mr O'Driscoll's death was adjourned last year after Coroner Philip Comyn heard evidence of identification and cause of death.

The inquest was adjourned on the application of Gardaí who are still investigating the murder.

A 40-strong team of detectives at Watercourse Road Garda Station have been investigating the killing which occurred on a busy Blackpool street.

Up to four vehicles were used in the getaway – two of which, a Nissan Almera and Vauxhall Astra van, were found burned out a couple of hours after the shooting on Redemption Road in the city and at Killeens.

However, a third vehicle, an Opel Astra, used by the killers to flee from Killeens, was only found shortly before Christmas in a remote ravine in Nadd.

A fourth vehicle was then used by the killers to flee from Nadd, possibly a Toyota Avensis.

Gardaí also suspect a motorcyclist may have operated as ‘a spotter’ for the gunmen waiting to ambush Mr O’Driscoll.

Two weapons were also seized by detectives during a search of houses in Cork.

The weapons – a sawn-off shotgun and a US-made Colt semi-automatic pistol – were seized from a property on the Old Commons Road in Cork just hours after Mr O’Driscoll was fatally shot.

Detectives are also considering whether Mr O’Driscoll may have recognised one of his attackers seconds before he was shot.

He apparently realised he was about to be ambushed, turned and attempted to flee.

However, he was shot once in the back and fell to the pavement.

A gunman then walked up to him and shot him three more times.

Mr O’Driscoll died just over an hour later as he was undergoing emergency surgery at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Detectives renewed their appeal for information on the killing last year as they admitted people who were in the Blackpool area at the time have not yet come forward.

Supt Michael Comyns insisted Gardaí are keeping “a very open mind” about the murder.

Mr O’Driscoll was the victim of a punishment shooting in 2013 and was expelled from the dissident Republican group.

He had also apparently been warned about his recent activities which included associating with known Limerick criminals.

The former Delaneys GAA player also had numerous enemies within Munster-based drug gangs so detectives are not willing to rule out revenge as the motive for the killing.

“It has been established that the getaway car used, a Nissan Almera registration number 01 TS 1312, was in the general Blackpool area for a number of hours prior to the murder.”

“We are also appealing for any taxi driver, driver or cyclists who have a Dashcam and were in the Blackpool area from 2pm onwards to contact Gardaí.”

“A further appeal is being made for any witness who may have seen a white Vauxhall Astra van registration number 99 G 12357, a red Opel Astra car (reg no unknown) or a black Toyota Avensis (reg no unknown) on the day of the murder in the Blackpool area from 2pm to 5pm or in the Killeens area from 2pm to 6pm.”

Special posters had been placed in Blackpool near the scene of the murder appealing for public information.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on (021) 4522000 or the Garda Confidential line (1800) 666111.

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