Monday 23 September 2019

Gardaí review gang murders to compare to latest 'pro hit'

Clive Staunton
Clive Staunton
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Gardaí investigating the murder of street trader Clive Staunton are expected to review previous gangland murders for comparisons with the "professional" killing.

The father of one was shot dead in Leixlip, Co Kildare, last Thursday, as he returned home after selling merchandise outside the Aviva Stadium ahead of Ireland's match against Northern Ireland.

Some 30 gardaí are working on the murder inquiry.

Mr Staunton, who was not involved in organised crime but was a distant relative of the Hutch family, was shot at three times through the windscreen as he parked his van outside his home at about 9.15pm last Thursday.

Gunman

He managed to get out of his van and staggered a couple of steps across the road and towards his driveway when the gunman caught up with him.

He was then shot twice in the head as he lay in the middle of the road.

Two vehicles believed to have been used in the murder were later found burnt out near Kilbride, Co Wicklow - around 40 minutes' drive from the Glen Easton estate where the killing happened.

It's understood gardaí will review previous murders to see if there are any comparisons to the way in which Mr Staunton's murder was carried out, in a bid to identify the killer.

Executed

Detectives have noted that the murder appears to be a "professional hit". They believe his killers lay in wait and executed him before calmly driving away to Co Wicklow to destroy the cars.

At this stage, gardaí are probing if the Dublin man was gunned down as part of the Hutch/Kinahan feud.

They are also investigating if a dispute with dissidents over the sale of black-market cigarettes led to his killing.

Before last week's murder, a total of 18 people had been killed as part of Ireland's deadliest gangland feud.

A neighbour and friend of the deceased, Shane Cody, said Mr Staunton appeared "fine" when they spoke only hours before the shooting.

"I was only talking to him earlier in the day," he said.

"He was always in great form (and) had a smile on his face when you said hello to him.

"You could always have a chat with him. It's a nice area and stuff like this doesn't happen. I'm shocked."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News