| 9.5°C Dublin

Murder victim 'shot three times'

A man gunned down in the hallway of his home was shot twice in the side before his killer fired again into his head, tests have revealed.

Detectives are trying to establish if Darren Falsey, 36, was targeted by a drugs gang over possible unpaid debts or if dissident republicans were behind the shooting.

A murder inquiry has been launched after the father of two was found dead by his partner at their home at Ashbourne Court, Ferney Road, in Carrigaline, Co Cork, yesterday.

A post-mortem examination carried out this afternoon at Cork University Hospital found he had been shot twice in the side and at least once in the back of the head, a Garda source said.

It is believed a semi-automatic low calibre pistol was used in the attack.

Mr Falsey was suspected of being a "fairly serious" player in the drugs scene and was linked to the supply of cocaine in and around County Cork, said the source.

Investigators are scouring CCTV footage from premises nearby in the village of Carrigaline. Door-to-door inquiries were also carried out.

They have also urged anyone who may have seen suspicious activity around the area in recent days to get in contact.

It is believed his killer would have planned the execution in advance and may have staked out his rented home, where he had been living for around four years.

Mr Falsey was shot dead within a one-hour window between the time his partner dropped him off at their home around 2pm, after having been shopping, and when she returned again after an errand along with her eight-year-old son shortly before 3pm.

He was found in a pool of blood between the front door and the living room.

Superintendent John Gilligan, of the Garda press office, has appealed for information.

"We believe that whoever carried out this shooting may have been in the area a number of days previously, or even for a short period of time," he said.

"Although it is quite a busy road, people may have remarked at the time on a car, an unusual looking person, a motorbike - we don't know exactly what mode of transport was used - but there may be someone who has a snippet of information that may be of use to us."

Around 60 gardai are working on the murder inquiry.

The Real IRA has previously claimed responsibility for the murders of drug dealer Gerard Staunton in Wilton in Cork last year and Kieran O'Flynn in Dublin Hill in the city in 2001. Both were shot at their homes.

© Press Association