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Gun victim may have tried to buy heroin from top suspect

THE young criminal who was shot dead in his home over a drugs debt may have contacted one of the suspected murderers to buy heroin hours before the brutal killing.

Gardai in Limerick were last night investigating whether Des Kelly (23) attempted to buy drugs from one of the two men who officers believe murdered him in his Southill home at close range with a shotgun.

Yesterday, senior officers successfully applied at a sitting of Limerick District Court to hold on to a house in O'Malley Park for a further 48 hours as part of the major investigation into the violent deaths of Breda Waters (28) and Kelly on Sunday.

It is understood that on Saturday evening Des Kelly bought a slab of beer before inviting Ms Waters and her sister, Tina, to his home at 531 O'Malley Park for a night's drinking. Also at the house was Matthew Quinn, Kelly's sister, Theresa, and his two-month-old baby daughter. Kelly's former partner had moved out of the terraced home with their two other children earlier that day.

Kelly was released from prison last November, while Matthew Quinn from Moyross, who has convictions for possession of a shotgun and machetes, was released from prison last week. Quinn was jailed for six years after shooting a man twice outside a house where a Christening party was taking place in 2006.

Gardai are investigating whether Kelly contacted one of the suspected killers hours before his murder for a small batch of heroin. It is believed Kelly was shot dead on Sunday morning over an unpaid drugs debt when confronted by his assailants. Ms Waters was shot dead in a bedroom before the two suspects fled from the scene on foot without disturbing Theresa Kelly or the two-month-old girl in the house.

Yesterday, gardai arrested an eighth person as part of their ongoing investigations. A 36-year-old woman was being questioned on suspicion of withholding information. A total of four men, including the two prime suspects, and four women were in custody last night.

Three forensic teams are involved in the investigation at various scenes and 150 gardai are involved in the operation.

At Limerick District Court Superintendent John Scanlan, of Roxboro garda station, applied to Judge Tom O'Donnell to allow officers to continue to conduct their investigations at 121 O'Malley Park, Southill -- the home of Anthony Kelly, who is not related to Des Kelly.

Gardai seized the home on Monday and applied that they be allowed to hold on to it until tomorrow.

Solicitor John Devane objected to the garda application and said Mr Kelly, his partner and two young children have been put out of their home.


Supt Scanlan told the judge that two murder investigations were ongoing and officers had "grounds to believe" that 121 O'Malley Park formed part of the investigations.

Mr Devane said Mr Kelly has a number of dogs and birds "in situ" in the garden of his home which needed to be fed. Supt Scanlan replied that officers would provide all necessary assistance for whatever animals were at the scene.

Judge O'Donnell granted the application and gardai can continue to search the home until tomorrow.

The funeral of Breda Waters will take place at St Mary's Church in Limerick tomorrow at 11am.

Irish Independent