Sunday 15 September 2019

Man shot dead may have had links to Estonian hitman

SHOOTING: Gardai seal off area of the killing in Blanchardstown
SHOOTING: Gardai seal off area of the killing in Blanchardstown

Maeve Sheehan and Wayne O'Connor

Gardai were last night investigating if a man who was killed in a shooting in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, was an associate of an Estonian hitman with links to the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

The man, aged in his 30s, was killed outside a house at Blakestown Cottages shortly before 7pm.

He was approached by a gunman who discharged a number of shots before fleeing the scene.

Gardai were working off the theory that the gunman may not have been working alone. They are also examining whether the victim, who had not been named last night, was an associate of Imre Arakas, a contracted hitman brought to Ireland in 2017 to murder a member of a criminal gang.

Arakas, with an address at Sopruse, Tallin, Estonia, was sentenced to six years in prison last month after he admitted to conspiring with others not before the courts to murder James Gately in Northern Ireland during April 2017.

Garda sources said the victim of last night's shooting was known to them and they were examining if he had links with Arakas. Emergency services were called to the scene after the shooting took place at 6.50pm last night.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was still there last night after the area was sealed off for a specialist technical examination. The State Pathologist has been notified and a post mortem examination is expected to take place in the coming days.

Gardai are also appealing for witnesses. A spokesman asked anyone who may have been in the area and may be able to help the ongoing investigation to contact them.

"Gardai in Blanchardstown are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them on 01 6667000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station," he said.

Local Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy said he was shocked by last night's events.

"I am disgusted and outraged by something like this taking place in our area," said.

"This part of Dublin has been peaceful for the past 15 years. This is not the kind of thing we expect to see and it is not right for things like this to be happening.

"For a man to be shot dead in the area in the run up to Christmas is very sad."

Sunday Independent

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