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Saturday 17 February 2018

Gardai probe separate city killings of two men

Murder hunt as shot burglar is dumped outside hospital

Tom Brady and Mark O’Regan

GARDA investigations were under way early today after two men were fatally wounded in separate incidents..

The body of a man was found at the junction of Reuben Street and Cork Street in Dublin's south inner city shortly before midnight.

The circumstances were not immediately clear but it was thought that he could have fallen from the top of an apartment block and landed in the centre of the road.

He was dead on admission to hospital.

Just hours earlier, gardai had launched citywide inquiries after a well-known burglar had been dumped out of a car out- side a hospital. He was Christopher Warren (35), who is originally from St Teresa's Gardens in the south inner city.

He died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Initial garda inquiries were not clear whether he had been the victim of a hit or was shot accidentally in the vehicle.

Gardai were alerted after Mr Warren's body was thrown out of a car and left on the ground outside St James's Hospital in the south city.

Initial garda inquiries indicate that the shooting is not gangland related.

However, his brother Paul Warren was a gangland victim eight years ago when he was shot dead while drinking in a pub.

This vehicle will undergo a detailed forensic examination this morning

A man was being interviewed last night as officers tried to establish the identity of the car's driver.

The victim was left at the hospital with a wound to his upper body, which was later determined to have been caused by a gunshot.

Mr Warren had been released from prison shortly before Christmas and had been spotted in the south inner city earlier yesterday.

Gardai said he had no connections with gangland but was known to them as a prolific burglar.

He was a major target for Operation Acer, the crackdown in the capital on burglaries. Acer was initiated in March and fed into the nationwide operation, codenamed Fiacla.

Mr Warren was suspected of carrying out a spate of burglaries in the city over the past couple of years.

Gardai sealed off the area where his body was left outside the hospital – and also where the car was found – in order to carry out forensic searches this morning.

A post-mortem examination of the body will be carried out later today by a state pathologist.

Last night, a citywide hunt for the killer was under way, with garda inquiries being focused in particular on the south city.

But officers admitted that a motive for the shooting was not immediately known.

Warren's brother Paul was shot dead in February 2004 by the Rattigan gang in retaliation for the murder of Brian Rattigan's younger brother Joseph two years earlier.

Paul Warren was drinking at the bar in Grays pub, formerly the Red Lion, at Newmarket Square, off Cork Street, when two masked and armed men burst into the premises around 11pm.

One of the men wielded a handgun and fired a shot at Mr Warren, who fled for safety towards the toilets. He was pursued by the gunman, who fired again and hit Mr Warren in the head at the toilet entrance. He died almost instantly.

Gary Bryan was charged with the crime but was acquitted in court after a key witness withdrew her evidence. He was murdered in 2006.

In July 2005, another man was sentenced to five years for withholding information relating to the fatal shooting and for assisting an offender in the same incident.

Irish Independent

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