Friday 23 March 2018

Missing men 'shot at another location and brought to island by boat'

Gardai launch murder investigation and renew their appeal for information

Ken Foy

Gardai have renewed their appeal for information in relation to the discovery of two bodies on Lough Sheelin yesterday.

An unsuspecting fisherman alerted gardai to the badly decomposed bodies of two Dublin men yesterday afternoon after he noticed a terrible smell from an island in Lough Sheelin.

A double murder investigation has been launched after the bodies of Eoin O’Connor (32) and Anthony Keegan (33) – who were missing for almost five weeks –were discovered at around 4.30pm yesterday.

Gardai wish to speak to anyone who may have seen a Grey Ford Focus 04 D 46380 on the road or in the vicinity of Lough Sheelin near the townland of Ross, Mount Nugent between the 20th and 25th April 2014 - or anywhere close to the Cavan/Meath border.

Gardai are also seeking anyone who may have been  fishing or sailing on the lake on the 22nd and the 23rd April, or who may have been walking on the shoreline on those dates.

Gardai also say they are looking for anyone with any information who may be able to assist in this investigation.

Mr O'Connor and Mr Keegan were last seen alive in Co Cavan on the evening of April 22 where it is believed they visited a criminal to try and reclaim a €15,000 drugs debt on behalf of a north Dublin crime gang.

A post mortem is today due to confirm that O’ Connor and Keegan – who were tied together and found covered with a tarpaulin – had been shot dead.

Gardai are working on the theory that they were double crossed after they drove to Cavan to collect the drugs debt. 

But detectives have also established that the duo had “lost money and drugs” belonging to a number of dangerous Dublin gangs in the months before their sinister disappearance.

Today two houses in Co Meath are being searched by gardai including one which may have been rented by the chief suspect in the case, a foreign national who is believed to have fled to England over fears that he would be targeted by criminal associates of the murdered friends.

The Herald previously revealed that two other gang members suspected of being involved in the murders also fled their homes.

Detectives suspect that O’Connor and Keegan were shot in another location and were brought to the island on a boat on the night they disappeared. A boat has been seized by gardai as apart of their detailed investigations.

O’Connor and Keegan were not considered to be major criminals. One of the gang members who fled is a foreign national who has been based in Ireland for a number of years. He is considered an extremely dangerous criminal who has been involved in the manufacture of pipe bombs as well as drugs trafficking in Co Cavan.

Gardai have been working on the theory that the dead men were in Co Cavan to collect a €15,000 drugs debt which was owed by this criminal’s associates but the sum could be as much as €30,000.

A senior source explained: “The focus of this investigation is now wider than counties Cavan and Meath. Investigations have established that the two murdered men had been pretty incompetent in relation to their criminal activities and owed money to a number of criminal gangs. The bodies of these men were in an awful state.”


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