Passion for dogs brought pair together before bitter business row
JOHN Kerins and Gerry Daly became firm friends after they settled close to each other in the rural heartland of Cornaveagh, outside Bailieborough, Co Cavan.
The two shared a passion for dogs and were said by friends to have been planning to set up a business breeding dogs for security firms.
But they fell out after a row involving a third man over a separate business arrangement, and Mr Kerins had become a garda suspect for the disappearance of Mr Daly before he was shot dead last November.
Mr Daly, who was 42 when he disappeared in June 2011, was already a dog breeder but had also developed friendships with some criminal figures as well as a dissident republican when he left Tallaght in south county Dublin for Cornaveagh.
A former detective garda, Mr Kerins led a colourful life and after a career investigating crime, ended up on the other side of the fence, becoming a suspect in a number of inquiries.
From Co Meath, his garda career spanned service in stations in Kells, Co Meath, and in Co Louth as well as Bailieborough. He also spent 10 years working in Dublin.
For five of those years he was located at Sundrive Road station on the southside of the capital and the rest was served with what was then known as the garda fraud squad at Harcourt Square, between 1991 and 1996.
Mr Kerins went on sick leave from the force in 2005. Five years later he was discharged from the force on medical grounds.
He later became involved in a security firm and was under garda investigation in connection with allegations of property disappearing from a building site. But he was exonerated after garda inquiries.
At the time of his murder, he was before the courts in Cork on charges alleging possession of stolen property in April last year, including plant and farm machinery, and of being in a vehicle without the owner's consent.