Wednesday 20 March 2019

Daughter talks of family pain at Keating sentencing

Jason Keating
Jason Keating

Alison O'Riordan

The daughter of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan who was murdered in the driveway of his Dublin home has told the Special Criminal Court that the 'only thing' her dad was guilty of was 'showing his respect' at a childhood friend's funeral.

Jason Keating (27), of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin admitted last month to participating in or contributing to activity intending to facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Kirwan at St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 between December 20 and 22 2016, both dates inclusive.

The offence is contrary to organised crime legislation brought in by Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Keating was originally tried for the murder of Mr Kirwan but midway through his trial on October 18 he pleaded guilty to facilitating a criminal organisation in committing murder and this plea was accepted by the DPP.

In her victim impact statement, Donna Kirwan said: 'People like this should remember it's not the people who are killed that suffer it's the families who are left behind.'

Donna Kirwan described her dad as a 'grafter' and said that while some of his friends chose to make money the easy way by selling drugs, her father chose to work for a living because that was how he was raised.

The three-judge court also heard that Mr Kirwan's son and daughter talked about ending their lives in the aftermath of their father's death because neither of them could see another way out of the pain and suffering.

The testimony was heard as part of a victim impact statement read by a woman from victim support on behalf of Donna Kirwan to the court during Jason Keating's sentence hearing today.

The non-jury court also heard that the defendant Jason Keating was present at the scene of the murder in Clondalkin and had facilitated the man who discharged the firearm. A 'Gotek7' tracking device was put under Mr Kirwan's car in the weeks leading up to his killing and this could be linked to Keating.

Mr Kirwan was sitting in his new Ford Mondeo car on December 22, 2016 when a gunman shot him six times with a Makarov handgun which was later recovered at the scene.

The 62-year-old suffered eight gunshot wounds in total to his head, right arm, chest and abdomen.

The murder of Mr Kirwan arose from a 'notorious feud' between two criminal factions but the deceased had no connection with either side.

Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, asked the court to enter a 'nolle prosequi' on the original charge of murder.

This means the State will not be proceeding with the prosecution in relation to the count of murder.

The deceased's partner, Bernadette Roe, was in the passenger seat of Mr Kirwan's car at the time of the attack. They had just returned from a Christmas lunch in a restaurant in Crumlin with Ms Roe's daughter.

Donna Kirwan, Mr Kirwan's daughter, said in her victim impact statement today that December 22 started off as a normal day for the family but it turned into their 'worst nightmare'.

Ms Kirwan said she was expecting a call from her father that day but instead she received a call from Bernadette's daughter, Carolyn, who sounded in a state of panic and told her she had to come straight out to Clondalkin as Noel had been shot.

'I just remember screaming for somebody to help and a man who works on my floor came running towards me, he grabbed his keys and we ran to his car. I felt like we were in traffic for hours because everyone was out doing their Christmas shopping. I rang Carolyn on the way and said they were working on him in the ambulance,"'she said.

Ms Kirwan said she jumped from the car when they arrived at the scene and began screaming asking people to tell her dad that she was there.

'I asked them where my dad was and Carolyn said 'I'm so sorry Donna he didn't make it'. I couldn't take in what she was saying to me. I begged the police men to let me see him but they said they were sorry that they couldn't,' she said.

Fingal Independent