Friday 25 May 2018

Gardai arrest man following fatal shooting

Killing puts gangland death toll at 22

JIM CUSACK

GardaI have arrested a man as part of an investigation following a fatal shooting in Louth on Friday night. The man in his mid 20s was arrested in the Dublin area at 5.30pm yesterday on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

The incident occurred at 11pm on Friday when a group of four men from Dublin forced their way into a house on the Sliabh Breagh estate outside Ardee, Co Louth, to confront two other men.

There was a fight in which two of the men were shot. A samurai sword is also thought to have been used in the incident in which a 20-year-old north Dubliner became the city's 22nd gang shooting victim this year, and the second murder victim in two days.

Another man had his finger chopped off in the incident.

Stephen Hanaphy, of Cromcastle Court, Coolock, who was hit by a single shot in the chest, collapsed and died under a tree on a green area about 300 metres from the house after what appears to have been hand-to-hand fighting.

Gardai believe the victim travelled to the town with three other men from the Coolock area on Friday evening. The gardai have a report of shots and fighting at around 11pm in the Sliabh Breagh area. However, Mr Hanaphy's body was not discovered until nearly 5am.

Around the same time the body was discovered, another man in his 20s -- also from Coolock -- presented at Beaumont Hospital with a gunshot wound. It is understood he had also had a finger cut off.

Gardai suspect that Mr Hanaphy and his associates may have been on their way to a meeting when they were surprised and attacked by members of a criminal gang from the Louth area.

The gang suspects have links to other gangs involved in drugs and other crime in the Midlands.

The killing follows that of 30-year-old Robert Ryle, of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, who died on Wednesday from gunshot wounds he received when he was shot by a lone gunman at a house in the Ronanstown area.

Ryle, a convicted bank robber and drug dealer, was an associate of bothers Kenneth and Paul Corbally -- who were shot dead in Ballyfermot in May. It is believed members of a rival gang were responsible for both sets of killings. Gardai are currently concerned that more killings and attacks are likely to arise from several feuds in Dublin and increasing tension in Limerick.

Gardai are still looking for a taxi driver who carried a male passenger from Ardee to Dublin shortly after 11pm on Friday. The driver is asked to contact local gardai or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.

Sunday Independent

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