Tuesday 24 April 2018

No one to face charges over murder of Dean Johnston (21) despite five-year probe

Dean Johnston
Dean Johnston

Louise Roseingrave

No charges will be brought in relation to the fatal shooting of Dean Johnston - despite a garda investigation spanning five years.

A full inquest has been scheduled into Mr Johnston's death, to take place in January. Mr Johnston, of Moorefield Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, died on May 25, 2011.

The direction follows a five-year garda investigation and several short inquest hearings into his death.

At Dublin Coroner's Court, Det Insp Richard McDonnell said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed that no prosecution follow the submission of a comprehensive garda file.

"We are seeking a hearing date for the inquest following directions from the DPP," Det Insp McDonnell said.

"There is a family liaison officer involved and the family are aware."

The victim, who had recently celebrated his 21st birthday, was described by investigating gardai as an "ordinary happy-go-lucky" young man who became involved in a local dispute.

Mr Johnston was targeted by a man and shot dead as he sat in the back of a car at Moorefield Avenue at 8.45pm.

Speaking as part of a Crimestoppers appeal earlier this year, Supt Dermot Mann, of Lucan Garda Station, said a massive investigation was conducted by gardai, involving 500 lines of inquiry, the taking of more than 400 statements, and the gathering of 300 exhibits.

He said the investigation uncovered that Mr Johnston had been in dispute with people locally.


He said it wasn't a gangland murder or "anything of that nature", but more of a personality dispute over local issues.

Nine people were arrested as part of the investigation, three on suspicion of the murder and six for withholding information about it.

As part of the appeal, Supt Mann said gardai had taken the investigation, as far as they could, but they believed there was more information out there.

Supt Mann said during the appeal last January that the victim's mother, Lorraine, had asked them to reiterate that she believed Dean would not rest in peace until the people responsible for his murder were brought to justice.

The weapon used, believed to be a handgun, has not yet been found, while the gunman was described as wearing a dark hoody, leggings and a cover on the lower part of his face.

As well as appealing for people who they had already taken statements from, Supt Mann made "a special appeal" for as-of-yet unidentified people who were in the area when the murder happened to come forward.

The suspect, aged in his 20s and from west Dublin, is also the chief suspect in the 2014 murder of Jason Carroll (38) in west Dublin.

Sources said that the gangster shot Carroll because he blamed him for trying to murder him just five days earlier.


Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News