| 3.7°C Dublin

Prime suspects held as drugs debt blamed for double murder

A HEROIN addict and a ruthless gangster are the prime suspects for the brutal murder of a young criminal and woman.

The pair were among seven people being questioned by gardai in Limerick last night about the shootings of Des Kelly (23) and mother-of-three Breda Waters (28).

The duo are suspected of murdering the young father over an outstanding drugs debt in his home as he attempted to escape out the back door.

Ms Waters (28) suffered the same fate after she stayed in the Southill house following a night socialising there.

Gardai last night continued their search for the shotgun used to kill the two victims.

It is suspected that Kelly -- who used drugs and sold small batches of heroin -- was shot dead by a well-known criminal from the southside of Limerick and another drug user over an unpaid debt.

Gardai believe the shootings at the home in Castle Oaks View, O'Malley Park, took place on Sunday at 9am.

It is understood that Kelly opened the front door to his assassins, a row took place and he attempted to flee out the back door before he was shot in the head by one of the assailants with a shotgun.

Ms Waters, who was invited to the house on the previous night by Kelly for drinks, was shot at close range in the head in a bedroom.

Gardai are also speaking to Kelly's sister, Theresa Kelly, who was in the house at the time of the murders with Kelly's two-month-old daughter.

It is believed Ms Kelly and the baby were in a different room when the shootings took place and were not spotted by the killers. The culprits arrived and fled from the scene on foot. Gardai were last night examining a house in O'Malley Park where they believe the gunmen went after the murders.

Searches were also continuing for the shotgun throughout the Southill area.


Four men and three women, aged in their 20s to 50s, were being questioned by gardai last night about the murders.

All were arrested yesterday afternoon in a house in Castletroy.

One of the prime suspects is aged in his 40s and is a feared criminal from the city.

He lives in the Castletroy suburb and was suspected to have shot a heroin addict in Ahane, Co Limerick, in November 2009.

If allowed by a local district court, gardai have up to seven days to charge or release the two suspects.

Officers are also studying an extensive CCTV footage system from O'Malley Park. It is understood that the footage viewed has been very helpful to gardai in attempting to put a timeline on the sequence of events at Kelly's home.

Kelly, a well-known criminal, was released from prison last November.

He had convictions for dangerous driving causing death, assault and burglary and was arrested last year for dealing small quantities of heroin. In 2005, he escaped on to the roof of Limerick Prison during a brief protest by five inmates.

The two murders are not connected to the ongoing criminal feud in Limerick.

Irish Independent