Tuesday 17 September 2019

At least two people believed to be involved in 'callous' murder of Keith Branigan in Drogheda - gardai

Keith Brannigan (inset) was killed in full view of families
Keith Brannigan (inset) was killed in full view of families
Superintendent Andrew Watters speaks at a media at Clogherhead Garda Station Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Gardai investigating the murder of Keith Branigan believe at least two people were involved in what they described as the "indiscriminate and callous" shooting.

Supt Andrew Watters, of Drogheda garda station, said that shortly before 3pm uniformed and armed Gardai responded to a report of shots being fired at the caravan park.

A man carrying out work on a prefab at the front of a caravan had been shot. He said the victim, Keith Branigan (30) from Drogheda, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"At this point I would like to offer my sincere condolences and sympathies to his wife, his family and friends," he said at a media briefing outside Clogherhead garda station.

"This was a particularly indiscriminate and callous act carried out in a very busy caravan park. There were a lot of families, women with young children in particular, close to the area of the shooting, indeed some of these children were enjoying the last days of their summer holidays."

The senior officer said their investigations have established that a Red Lexus 05C24473 entered the caravan park and a gunman exited the car.

The gunman opened fire at Branigan, with a number of stray shots also hitting two parked cars nearby.

The hit team then fled in the car towards Termonfeckin, and the Lexus was found burnt out in the Whiteriver area. The suspects then fled in a black Toyota Avensis WH 8024 which was later found burnt out in the Clonmore estate in Ardee.

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Superintendent Andrew Watters speaks at a media at Clogherhead Garda Station Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Supt Watters said that investigators have held case conferences at Drogheda garda station and that an incident room has been established.

Gardai are also continuing with Operation Stratus to target the feuding criminal gangs.

"We have an operation in place in the Drogheda district to deal with serious organised crime and I would like to reassure the public of Drogheda, and surrounding areas, that we have made a number of very serious detections, arrests, prosecutions. We have people before the courts on some very serious charges and some very strict bail conditions, and I'd like to reassure the public that that operation is ongoing," Supt Watters said.

"Everything is being done by An Garda Siochana in terms of resources, equipment and IT, everything is being done both locally and nationally to attempt to protect the people of Drogheda and the surrounding areas," Supt Watters said.

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