Tuesday 21 November 2017

Gardai swoop on two prime suspects in Melanie killing

Melanie McCarthy McNamara
Melanie McCarthy McNamara
Shot dead: Melanie McCarthy McNamara

Tom Brady Security Editor

TWO key suspects for the murder of teenager Melanie McCarthy McNamara last week were being questioned by gardai last night.

The pair were detained following a garda swoop on an apartment block in Athy, Co Kildare.

The arrests stemmed from a surveillance and intelligence gathering operation involving officers from the Dublin South and Kildare divisions and the national bureau of criminal investigation.

It was carried out following a detailed forensic examination of clues left behind by the killers when they fled after the fatal shooting of the innocent 16-year-old as she sat in the rear seat of a parked car outside a friend's home in Brookview Way, Tallaght, Dublin, last week.

Last night, detectives were questioning a 23-year-old man from Crumlin, and a 17-year-old from Tallaght, under section 50 of the anti-gangland legislation, the 2007 Criminal Justice Act.

They were being held at Tallaght garda station and can be detained without charge for up to seven days.

Breakthrough

Senior officers said they were pleased with the progress in their inquiries over the past week and were hopeful of an early breakthrough in their investigation.

The two suspects were found together in an apartment when gardai raided the complex in the town.

Garda forensic and ballistic experts had earlier completed a top priority examination of a number of items abandoned by the panicking killers in a bid to establish DNA and fingerprint evidence to help unmask the gunman and his accomplices.

The gang abandoned their stolen getaway car at Bianconi Avenue in nearby City West without setting it on fire and also left behind a shotgun, a pair of gloves, a scarf and two spent and two live cartridges.

Officers have also been enhancing video images from CCTV footage taken from cameras nearby.

Additional armed garda patrols have been on the streets in potential flashpoint areas in Tallaght and Crumlin since the shooting.

Melanie took the full brunt of one shotgun blast in the head as she sat in the car.

Her boyfriend Christopher Moran, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was believed by gardai to have been the intended target.

In a floral tribute to Melanie, Mr Moran wrote : "Baby, I'm so sorry. I love you with all my heart".

His father, Michael later said that Christopher was broken-hearted and Melanie's devastated parents held no ill will towards him.

Melanie's body has been released by the authorities and her burial is to take place shortly in London where she spent several years during her childhood.

Her family have settled in Tallaght but make regular visits back to Limerick.

Gardai believe the shooting is linked to an on-going row between two groups in south Dublin.

The feud has already been blamed for a spate of incidents including pipe-bomb attacks and gun threats.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the Irish Traveller Movement have both appealed for calm in the tension-filled neighbourhoods.

Irish Independent

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