Parents 'refuse to blame boyfriend' for killing as gardai narrow their hunt
THE devastated parents of a teenage girl gunned down as she sat in a parked car do not blame her boyfriend for her death, his father claimed yesterday.
Melanie McCarthy-McNamara (16) had been living with her boyfriend Christopher Moran's family before she was shot dead last Tuesday.
Gardai believe Mr Moran had been the intended target of the shotgun attack but Melanie, who was sitting behind her boyfriend, was blasted in the head instead.
Last night, officers were focusing on a number of figures from south and west Dublin, but they acknowledged that it was too early in the investigation to nominate prime suspects.
They are working to enhance video images from CCTV footage taken from cameras near where the killers abandoned their getaway vehicle, the shotgun used in the murder, cartridges, gloves and a scarf.
Officers hope to make significant progress in their inquiries after they receive the results of forensic tests on those items, which were left at Bianconi Avenue in City West.
A series of searches were also carried out in south and west Dublin in an effort to gather more evidence to help identify the gang.
Gardai will continue to deploy additional armed patrols in flashpoint areas over the weekend to help reassure the local communities.
Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Christopher Moran's father Michael said that Melanie's family held no acrimony towards her young boyfriend.
Melanie's family are now in Dublin but no funeral arrangements have yet been made. Melanie's body may be released from Tallaght hospital for burial on Monday.
Michael said : "They are here and they are all in bits."
And in an appeal to her killers to hand themselves in to gardai, he said: "Give yourselves up.
"This is not (about) Traveller families; it has nothing to do with a Traveller feud," he said from the family home in Drumcairn Avenue, Tallaght.
"My son is in bits; he is broken-hearted.
"He is trying to come to terms with it."
Mr Moran said that Christopher had found it very difficult to return to the scene where he laid flowers in Melanie's memory, with a simple message that read: "Baby I'm sorry, I love you with all my heart."
Yesterday afternoon, her distraught parents also left their own floral tribute at the site of the shooting.
The card read: "In loving memory of our dear daughter Melanie. Lots of love, Mammy and Daddy."