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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gardaí quiz pair over gun murder in city centre apartment

Gardai investigating the death of Gary O’Brien prepare to enter a property on the North Circular Road. Photo: Collins
Gardai investigating the death of Gary O’Brien prepare to enter a property on the North Circular Road. Photo: Collins

Ken Foy

Gardaí are questioning a woman and man in connection with a murder in a city centre flat - as they continue the search for the handgun used.

The pair are being interviewed by detectives investigating the death of Gary O'Brien in separate north Dublin garda stations. It is understood the woman (39) and the man (35) are known to gardaí.

Meanwhile, officers searched three different properties on the North Circular Road in an attempt to find the handgun used in the murder of Mr O'Brien (50). He was shot once in the forehead in a basement flat on Dublin's North Circular Road at about 8.30pm on Sunday.

The grandfather, who was originally from Barry Avenue in Finglas, had been living in the flat for around eight years.

Both those in custody, who were arrested late on Monday night and early on Tuesday morning, are understood to have issues with drugs and alcohol.

The woman has been living in the capital's south inner city and is known to gardaí for offences such as theft, burglary, assault and handling stolen property.

Read more: 'I heard a woman scream' - says witness as gardaí hunt for gun

The man had been living close to where Sunday night's murder happened. He is known to gardaí for robbery, drugs and public order offences.

It is understood the man and woman were both known to Mr O'Brien. They were being detained at the Bridewell and Store Street garda stations, and can be held for up to a week.

Gardaí have not yet fully determined what happened in the flat on the North Circular Road but they believe that alcohol and drugs had been consumed by a number of people at the location when the fatal shooting happened.

Officers believe that the two people in custody were present in the room when Mr O'Brien was shot and both left with blood-stained clothing.

Examination

"Investigations so far indicate that foul play did occur in that flat," a source said last night. "However, what exactly happened has yet to be determined. This was originally considered to be a self-harm incident."

The property where the man died has been sealed off for technical examination and evidence of drug taking and other substance abuse has been found there.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Superintendent Ann Markey confirmed the probe had become one of suspected murder. She appealed to locals or anyone passing through the area on the night of the murder to contact gardaí.

"If they have seen anything suspicious or any activity they found unusual between the hours of 8pm on the 19th, that's Sunday night, and 6am on Monday morning," Supt Markey said.

Irish Independent

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