Sunday 19 November 2017

Gardaí probe whether gang murdered innocent dad-of-three after he 'asked them to slow down in estate'

Flowers at the scene of the murder of Stephen Lynch (inset)
Flowers at the scene of the murder of Stephen Lynch (inset)

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

A violent boxer wanted for killing a father-of-three was in the area to collect drugs debts at the time of the horrific murder, it has emerged.

The home of Stephen Lynch has become a shrine to the 32-year-old, who was deliberately run over by a car in Tallaght at 7pm last Thursday.

A vigil will take place in his home estate tonight in his honour and to show local support for his family.

It has emerged that the boxer and three other men were in the Brookview area to "gather very small amounts of money" from local drug users.

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley embraces the father of Stephen Lynch in Tallaght
Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley embraces the father of Stephen Lynch in Tallaght

"They had travelled from Crumlin to collect debts but there is nothing to suggest that Mr Lynch owed them any money," a gardai source said last night.

"It seems that he just got involved in an argument with them."

There have been no arrests and it is understood that some members of the four-man gang have gone on the run.

They include two notorious brothers from Crumlin, a low-level criminal from Ballyfermot and a former boxing star with a reputation for extreme violence.

It is not known which of the four young criminals was driving the car that killed Mr Lynch. They are all involved in a bitter feud in the Crumlin area, which in recent weeks has seen serious assaults and damage to property

Mr Lynch, who was from the Glenshane estate in Tallaght, was not known to be involved in the feud. Gardai believe that he became involved in a row with the four men, who were in a silver Ford Focus.

One theory is that Mr Lynch was targeted after asking the suspected killers to slow down after they were spotted driving erratically on the estate.

However, a second source insisted that gardai are looking at a number of other theories and there is no one definite motive.

Mr Lynch was driven over and dragged along the road. Gardai believe that the car may have been driven back and forth over him. The driver fled the scene on foot and is suspected of getting into another car.

The two cars linked to last week's incident have been seized by gardai for forensic testing. A passer-by in Brookview Close tried to stop one of the men from escaping but was unsuccessful after a brief scuffle.

The murder has caused huge shock and sorrow in Tallaght.

The garden railings of the victim's home have been a focal point for this grief, where people have left floral tributes, candles and photographs of Stephen with his family in happier times. Staff from local photography studio Bad Candy, where Mr Lynch had some portraits taken, have left a message on the Stephen Lynch Memorial Page on Facebook.

Stephen Lynch
Stephen Lynch

"We offer our deepest most heart felt condolences to the family of Stephen Lynch, who was a gentlemen and a loving neighbour of the Bad Candy Family," it said.

"We knew Stephen to be extremely humble to everyone he passed by on the street. He would often go above and beyond for those who were less fortunate.

"Although Stephen had his own problems in life, he was the type of person who would make time for other people's problems and push his own aside.

"He loved his children and family dearly and loved his community and country passionately."

The vigil in Mr Lynch's honour will take place at 9pm tonight at Glenshane Close, Tallaght. The elder of the two brothers involved in Mr Lynch's murder has previously served a prison sentence for firearm offences. He has been causing mayhem since his release from prison last year.

He has formed a close alliance with the boxer, who was last year released early from a prison sentence.

Herald

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