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Alert as feared thug seeks out friend's killer

A MAJOR garda alert was under way today as a feared criminal recently released from jail is trying to find out who murdered his relative.

Declan O' Reilly (32) was gunned in front of his 11-year-old son in a shocking murder as they walked on the capital's South Circular Road on the night of September 24 last. Now it has emerged that a reckless thug – who is closely related to O'Reilly – has been issuing threats in an attempt to find out who killed the man he considered his best friend.

The Herald can reveal that Paul 'Poncho' McCarthy has been hanging around a south inner city complex where he has been demanding to know who carried out the shooting.

A source said: "This is the last thing we need right now -- tensions are already high enough in the city at the moment."

Originally from Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, 'Poncho' has been causing huge concern for gardai all over the city since he was only 14.

Known as a violent knife robber, he was jailed for three years at Dublin Circuit Court in 2008 after pleading guilty to a string of offences in both the south inner city and the capital's northside.


These included a spate of driving charges, as well as theft, burglary, aggravated burglary and armed robbery.

He was also caught using an illegal mobile phone in Cloverhill Prison while on remand in relation to one of those charges.

Poncho's beloved relative O'Reilly was targeted last month after a lone gunman jumped from a stolen silver BMW 3 Series -- reg 04 D 48695 -- and blasted the victim as he walked along the South Circular Road with his 11-year-old son.

The assassin shot O'Reilly in the chest and neck before jumping back inside the vehicle which fled eastwards. The car was found burnt out 1.5km away at O'Curry Avenue.

Gardai said it had been stolen after a break-in at a house at Monastery Rise in Clondalkin a week earlier. The handgun used to blast O'Reilly was found inside the vehicle.

O'Reilly's son turned back believing the gun shots lodged in his father's body were "bangers".

It was the second time the boy saw his father being shot. He was present when O'Reilly survived an assassination attempt in Harold's Cross last year.

The victim's father, Declan Snr, told the Herald how he tried to comfort his grandson.

"He said to me, 'I thought it was men throwing bangers, and dad fell down' and then he rang his mother to tell her what happened," Mr O'Reilly said.

Gardai have made one arrest in the murder case and have been working on the theory that O'Reilly was murdered by associates of Derek Glennon, who was stabbed to death by O'Reilly during a brawl in Mountjoy Prison in 2007. He was later acquitted of Glennon's murder.