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From newly-built family home to sce ne of killing

Andy Connors was building his dream home for his family, but instead it will be remembered as the place he was gunned-down in front of his wife and children.

Known as 'Fat' Andy, the 45-year-old father-of-six was targeted in the large dormer bungalow he was finishing building on the outskirts of Saggart village.

Although the road that passes it is busy, connecting the Naas Road with the N81 to Tallaght, the scene of last night's murder is a quiet space with an almost rural feel.

The atmosphere today is one of shock, despair and grief for a young family.

Houses are dotted along the road and occupy large plots of land.

"It was very distressing, we could hear his poor kids shouting 'oh my daddy, oh my daddy' as the gardai took the family away from the scene," said one local.

"It's an awful thing to happen. They are nice neighbours to deal with and the kids are very friendly.

"I feel very sorry for his wife and children that they had to witness such a thing. It will be with them forever."

Two of the Connors' children, a boy and a girl, made their Communion last year.

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"Andy made sure the kids had a good day out, with a stretched limo and all that goes with the traveller tradition," said another local.

"It was more like a wedding than a Communion, but he was very proud of his kids."

It is understood the Connors family spent much of the summer in England before returning home recently.

Neighbours did not report hearing any shots being fired or hearing a getaway car leave the scene.

The first they knew that something was wrong was when a fleet of emergency vehicles and gardai arrived shortly after 11pm.

The house was sealed off this morning pending a forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.

The house where Connors was killed is built on the site of a previous property that used to be owned by the family of Kathleen Watkins, the wife of broadcaster Gay Byrne, according to locals.

After the house was sold by the Watkins family it fell into disrepair before being burned down and left lying in ruins.

The house and land then came into the possession of Andy Connors and he rebuilt and extended it.

Work was already underway to build a large wall around the house when last night's murder took place.

Foundations had been laid and piles of blocks had recently arrived at the site.

The house was only recently finished and clad in stone. But with access to all sides, it was easy for the killer because it was very open.

It has large sheds built at the side of it and stands alone on a large site on the busy road.

cfeehan@independent.ie


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