Friday 27 April 2018

Gun victim was shot for being 'too cocky'

Darren Kearns
Darren Kearns
The burned-out BMW believed to have been used by Darren Kearns' killers is removed from a lane near Blackhorse Avenue Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Gardaí at Cumiskey's Pub, where Kearns was shot dead in the car park Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Robin Schiller

Gardai believe a man shot dead in north Dublin during the week may have been targeted as a result of him becoming "too cocky" in his drug-money collection role for a gang.

Darren Kearns (33) was gunned down outside Cumiskey's pub on Blackhorse Avenue shortly before 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Kearns - who served time with David "Daithi" Douglas, who was shot in Cabra in November - is believed to have been collecting drug debts for a gang boss who is in jail for a vicious pub assault.

"It seems that the victim was either ripping off his own gang or trying to throw his weight around," a source said.

"These are the main motives being looked at by gardai."

Kearns was shot several times, including in the head, with a handgun before his killers sped off in a light-coloured BMW 5 series that was later found burned out on nearby Regal Park.

Gardaí are investigating Kearns' role as a bagman for a jailed Cabra criminal he had been collecting cash for since the gangster, aged in his late 30s, was locked up last year.

"This is being looked at, and what is not in absolute doubt is that Kearns had been an active participant in organised crime since he got temporary release from prison last February.

"The suggestion is that he was left in charge of things after a number of major local criminals were sent to jail, so gardaí are looking at whether his new position of responsibility led to his downfall in terms of him maybe being on the take."

Kearns was technically still serving a six-year sentence for drug offences when he was shot dead, but he had been out of prison for 10 months with his sentence due to expire next month.

Described by prison sources as a "model inmate", Kearns served much of his time in the relatively cushy regimes of Loughan House Open Centre and Mountjoy Prison's Training Unit.

He was granted temporary release a full year ahead of his due date.

Gardaí are unaware of any incidents involving Kearns in recent weeks or months which could have led to his murder, and it is understood he had no idea that his life was under threat.


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