Wednesday 20 June 2018

Cycle-by murder is linked to bitter feud over drugs

Victim Jason Doogue (22) was just two years old when his mother was murdered by lover

Jason Doogue in red shirt
Jason Doogue in red shirt

Alan O'Keeffe and Tom Brady

The murder of a man in Athy on Friday night may be linked to a long-running drugs feud, gardai believe.

A masked gunman on a BMX bike shot 22-year-old Jason Doogue, whose mother Mary was murdered in 1995, in the Greenhills area of Athy, shortly after 5pm.

A man was arrested shortly afterwards in connection with the shooting.

Yesterday afternoon, one youth in his early teens was arrested and brought to Leixlip Garda Station. Later in the evening, another youth in his late teens was arrested and taken to Naas Garda Station.

Jason Doogue was sitting on a wall with up to four friends when the assailant, wearing a balaclava, approached him on a BMX bike.

He opened fire at close range with a handgun and shot Doogue once. Mr Doogue then collapsed over the wall. The gunman, in front of horrified onlookers, then leant over the wall and discharged a further two shots at his target before fleeing.

Doogue struggled to his feet and collapsed at the entrance of a nearby house. A woman attempted to cradle him and neighbours said the dying man cried out "get me help, get me help" as he lay bleeding on the doorstep.

The victim was critically ill when the emergency services arrived and he was rushed to Naas hospital.

GUN ATTACK: Gardai at the scene where Jason Doogue was murdered in the Greenhills area of Athy, Co Kildare
GUN ATTACK: Gardai at the scene where Jason Doogue was murdered in the Greenhills area of Athy, Co Kildare

He died from his wounds about an hour and a half later.

Gardai carried out a series of searches in the town in the immediate wake of the shooting and arrested a suspect, who is in his 40s and from the Athy area. He can be held without charge for up to seven days.

The Offices of the State Pathologist was notified and a post-mortem examination was expected to be completed yesterday.

A motive for the gun slaying has not yet been established, but one theory being investigated is that the killing was part of a drugs feud in the Kildare town.

Doogue was known to gardai for public order offences.

The scene of the gun attack remained sealed off overnight as investigations, led by officers based in Athy garda station, continued.

A group of young women wept openly near the scene.

A 22-year-old friend, fighting back her tears, said: "Jason was just waiting to go into his friend's house and have a shower before going on a date with his girlfriend. It's terrible what happened him. He had a hard life."

Prior to yesterday's murder, there had been a number of recent pipe-bomb and gun attacks on homes in Athy. Garda resources had been increased in recent weeks as fears grew about an upsurge in violence.

A series of incidents in the town, including one in which shots were fired, stemmed from a feud between two groups, suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and other crimes.

In 1995, Jason Doogue's mother - Mary (30) - was kicked to death by her ex-lover Stephen Davis (20) in a jealous rage following a night out.

The jury heard Ms Doogue and Mr Davis had been seeing each other for just over two years at the time of her death.

Ms Doogue was unmarried and had six children. Davis was the father of her youngest child, Stephanie, who was seven months old at the time of her mother's death.

Dublin Central Criminal Court heard during the subsequent murder case that Davis attacked Ms Doogue in the street after a drinking session at his local pub in October, 1995.

In interviews with gardai, Davis said he was in a rage because he could not find her.

He said: "I was so vexed, I kept kicking her, I don't know how many times I kicked her."

The court heard that Davis kicked her so hard that the design on the heel of his boot was imprinted on her face and breast.

He was later found guilty of her murder. He spent more than 15 years in prison before being released on licence.

Sunday Independent

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