Sunday 18 February 2018

'Retaliation first' motive for gang leader's murder

Andy Connors
Andy Connors

Tom Brady

Violent criminal Andy Connors - shot dead in the bedroom of his home last week - was singled out by someone he had targeted over a cash debt.

Investigating gardai say this row over money is the most likely motive for the savage slaying of the 45-year-old burglary gang leader.

Mr Connors and his associates were blamed for dozens of burglaries across the State and his travelling gang were known to have used fast cars to flee after attacking their victims.

He was a key figure on a watch list, drawn up by officers running Operation Fiacla, the nationwide crackdown on the travelling burglary gangs.

Officers say they are still pursuing several lines of inquiry but think the murder may have been the result of a potential victim "getting his retaliation in first".

Detectives are aware of a row between Mr Connors and a businessman with dissident connections over payment of a debt and are trying to establish if a gunman had been hired to murder Mr Connors before he could carry out his threat to harm the man.

Officers hope the recovery of two stolen cars and a handgun, believed to have been the murder weapon, may help supply them with some clues to the identity of the gunman.

After the murder, Mr Connors' body was taken to Co Wexford for embalming and has since been moved back to his home at Botherboy, Saggart, Co Dublin, for a wake.

His funeral is expected to take place in Gorey, Co Wexford, but may not be held for several days.

Gardai have stepped up their patrols in south Co Dublin as they monitor the movements of possible suspects and assess whether the murder could lead to further violence.

Two cars located by gardai in the aftermath of the shooting, a black Kia Sportage and a white Opel Insignia, had been stolen in Kilkenny on July 16 and Carlow on July 14, respectively.

The Kia was recovered in the Mount Argus area of south Dublin and the Opel, off the Blessington Road, near the Embankment pub. Both had been fitted with false registration plates and set on fire.

Gardai are currently making inquiries to determine where the vehicles had been stored for more than a month before they were used in the "hit".

Irish Independent

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