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Drugs courier hunted for young dad's knife slaying

A MANHUNT is under way for a drug dealer who is the chief suspect in the brutal knife murder of a 22-year-old man. Dad-of-one Shane O'Connor's body was found at 7am yesterday near his home at St Donagh's Road, Donaghmede, north Dublin.



It is understood his body may have been there for up to four hours before it was discovered.

Sources believe Mr O'Connor spent time with his suspected killer earlier that night. One theory being examined is whether Mr O'Connor "had got the better" of the knife attacker in a fist fight before he was stabbed.

Gardai carried out searches in the Kilbarrack area yesterday and raided his home, but there has been no sign of the chief suspect, who is believed to be "hiding out".







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The suspect, who is in his mid-20s, was previously given a lengthy jail sentence after being caught with a large haul of cannabis.

It is understood he may have been working as a 'courier' for the gang that was controlled by slain crimelord Michael 'Micka' Kelly, who was shot dead in September last year.

A source said: "The background to this murder is not linked to a feud or anything like that. It seems that an argument got out of hand.

"While Mr O'Connor was known to gardai and had served a jail sentence, he was not considered a major criminal or anything like that. In fact he was in the process of rebuilding his life and was a decent enough fella."

Locals yesterday described hearing an argument on the road at around 3am and seeing some men out on the street.

A 999 call was made shortly before 7am and paramedics worked on Mr O'Connor before he was brought to hospital. He died soon after arrival.

Mr O'Connor had secured temporary release from prison three weeks ago, where he had been serving a 16- month sentence imposed last November after he pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend Sabrina Hayes.

At the time the court was told that the couple got into a row in a room they rented at Bewley's Hotel near Dublin Airport in December 2009.

While Ms Hayes tried to leave, Mr O'Connor threw a bottle in her direction, which ricocheted and smashed.

A shard of glass became embedded in her head and left her "gushing blood".

She reported the assault after he hit her with another bottle in a supermarket car park in October 2010.

Sources say yesterday's murder is not linked to these incidents and Mr O'Connor had remained in a relationship with Ms Hayes after he was released from jail.

kfoy@herald.ie


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