A DUBLIN man is in garda custody suspected of carrying out a savage crime spree that saw a man shot dead in cold blood in front of his terrified partner, a taxi driver held up at gunpoint, and a homeless man viciously beaten.
As gardai try to establish a motive for the brutal shooting, local TD Joe Costello described the events that occurred over the space of less than 12 hours as "appalling and savage crimes".
Tallaght man Kieran Farrelly (33) - who is also known as Ciaran Brooks - was blasted in the face with a shotgun just before midnight on Sunday.
A 31-year-old suspect was today being grilled by detectives investigating the fatal shooting as well as being questioned about the gun-point theft from a taxi driver earlier in the evening.
It's understood that he was arrested following an assault on a 55-year-old homeless man that happened at 6:10am yesterday morning, also in the Dublin 1 area.
The crime spree began on Sunday evening after a taxi driver picked up a fare in the Finglas area and the male passenger asked to be brought to the city centre.
When they arrived at Terrace Place the passenger produced a sawn-off shotgun and threatened the taxi man before taking his money and fleeing on foot.
It was just over four hours later, at about 11:45pm, that Tallaght man Mr Farrelly was shot dead, reportedly in front of his partner, a short distance away at the Killarney Court flats near Portland Row and the Five Lamps.
And then just after 6am yesterday morning, a homeless man was savagely beaten and robbed of his spare change as he slept on Mabbot Lane, just off Talbot Street in Dublin 1.
The victim was taken to the Mater Hospital.
The series of incidents prompted a massive Garda response overnight on Sunday including helicopter air support and armed officers from the Emergency Response Unit deployed to the North Inner City.
The scene of the fatal shooting was sealed off for technical examination and Mr Farrelly's body was removed to the Dublin city morgue at Marino where a post-mortem examination was carried out.
"The results have been passed to the investigation team which confirm that the deceased died from gunshot injuries," a Garda spokesperson said.
The 31-year-old suspect was arrested by gardai investigating the shooting and theft from the taxi driver and was today being detained in Mountjoy Garda station. He was being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
Meanwhile, a 20-year-old woman - known to Mr Farrelly - was also arrested under suspicion of withholding information.
She was questioned at Store Street Garda Station where she was detained under Section 30, Offences Against the State Act, 1939.
Labour TD and former minister Joe Costello condemned the capital's latest brutal gun murder.
"The shooting dead of a man, combined with the robbery of a taxi driver and the attack on a homeless person in the space of a single night in the North Inner City are appalling and savage crimes," he said.
"The gardai in the Dublin North Central Division must be congratulated for making early arrests in the case," Mr Costello added.
He blamed the widespread availability of guns and drugs for "an increasing number of such crimes".
"Despite the best efforts of the gardai and the drugs task forces which are operating in very difficult circumstances, the problem of drug abuse and drug-related crime continues to be a serious challenge for the community in the north inner city," Mr Costello said.
The Dublin Central TD said the National Drugs Strategy should be revisited with a view to refocusing drug policy in line with recent developments in drug abuse and to resourcing the drug treatment services.