Sunday 22 April 2018

Murder inquiry as man shot dead in 7am Dublin gangland attack

Garda forensics remove the van that the victim was gunned down in at Cherry Orchard Avenue, in Ballyfermot reporters and Tom Brady

GARDAI have launched a murder inquiry after a man was shot dead in an early morning attack in Dublin. The gangland style killing took place on Cherry Orchard Avenue, in Ballyfermot at 7am.

David Darcy, a father of two who was in his late thirties, was pulling out of his driveway in his work van at the time.

A car pulled up and a masked man ran over to the Whelan’s meat van and fired a number of shots in the passenger window killing his intended target instantly.

The victim, who was a hardworking individual with no criminal links, was clearly identified and taken out, gardai said.

He was a family man with a partner and two teenage children.

He worked for Whelan’s Meats, a butcher based in the nearby Robinhood Industrial Estate in west Dublin.

The area has been sealed off for technical examination and the state pathologist has been contacted.

A burned-out car was discovered at Inagh Road, not far from the scene of the shooting and gardai believe it was used by the gunman and his driver.

Local priest Fr Pat Reynolds said that the community is shocked as the victim was known as a hardworking man.

Aengus O Snodaigh, Sinn Fein TD for the area, said young children would have to pass the scene of the killing on their way to school.

"It's a horrific event in a relatively quiet area," he said.

"It's about 100 yards from St Ultan's national school. This will frighten a lot of people in the area."

Mr O Snodaigh added: "All the young children in the area will be aware of what has happened as they'll have to pass the cordoned-off scene - it just adds to the problems they have to deal with in their daily lives."

The Dublin South Central TD said there were many high-powered CCTV cameras locally which may be able to help gardai in their inquiry.

The shooting is the 13th gun murder nationwide this year – a major reduction on previous years.

The huge fall in demand for cocaine as a result of the recession has contributed to a dramatic drop in the number of gangland murders.

The decline in the drug trade has impacted heavily on serious crime by eliminating many of the turf wars that sparked off a raft of killings.

Coupled with the arrest of either suspected or convicted hitmen, gangland has now altered radically.

Internal garda statistics show there have been only four murders categorised as "organised crime" so far this year, compared with a total of 19 for all of last year, a staggering reduction of 79pc.

However, the murder rate, without the gangland hits, remains static at 32.

The past week has seen a major drive by the gardai to tackle the unsolved murders, with more than two dozen arrests in Dublin and Limerick following a review co-ordinated by senior officers from the force headquarters in Phoenix Park.

Officers are satisfied they are making progress in many of their 'live' investigations and have been boosted by recent convictions in the courts.

These include the conviction of Keith Wilson, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, who was found guilty of the murder of Daniel Gaynor, from Finglas.

Mr Gaynor was thought to have been a hitman and was the prime suspect for the shooting of innocent postman Robert Delany, who is still in a vegetative state three years later. Mr Gaynor was also on a garda shortlist for a fatal stabbing.

Wilson's brother, Eric, was convicted of a fatal shooting in a Costa del Sol bar in Spain and was believed by gardai to be the prime suspect for at least three murders here and on the shortlist for a further two.

And Michael Taylor Jnr (31) was found guilty of the murder of Paul Kelly in Clontarf in 2007 following a 10-day trial.

A breakdown of the 36 murders committed so far this year show that 14 were in the Dublin region, 10 in the south, six in the west and two each in the northern, eastern and south-eastern regions.


Gardai have made detections in 23 of the murders, a rate of 64pc. Last year there were 53 recorded murders, of which 35 were marked "detected".

Five of those related to incidents linked to organised crime, representing a detection rate of 26pc in that category, while the rate for the rest stands at 88pc at present.

Gardai have been scoring a lot of successes through a greater focus on intelligence-led and targeted operations.

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