Man arrested in connection with killing of Dublin holiday maker
By-stander John O’Neill had been visting Spain to attend a wedding
The remains of John O’Neill, being carried from St. Joseph’s Church, Bonnybrook, Dublin following his funeral mass in August 2010. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
An English criminal wanted in connection with the killing of an Irish holiday maker on the Costa del Sol was arrested by armed police in the middle of his birthday party on Tuesday night.
North Wales Police, in a joint operation with Merseyside Police, arrested Darren O’Flaherty, 39, while he was celebrating his birthday at a Chinese restaurant.
Police in Spain want to speak to O’Flaherty over the 2010 murder of Dublin man John O’Neill.
Mr O’Neill was in Coco’s Bar, in the resort of Benalmadena, near Torremolinos, with friends for a wedding when he was killed in July 2010.
Witnesses said a man in the bar grew increasingly angry over having to wait to use the toilet and began kicking the cubicle door, which led to an argument.
It is understood that Mr O’Neill intervened, acting as peacemaker. The man stormed out of the bar, only to return a short time later with a gun, which he used to shoot the Dublin plasterer — who had a three-year-old son and a nine-month-old daughter.
O’Flaherty s also wanted by police in the UK over the 2006 knifepoint kidnap of a lorry driver in Yorkshire.
Dave Allen, head of the Fugitives Unit at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), said: “Darren O’Flaherty was out celebrating with his friends, but law enforcement had planned a birthday surprise.”
O’Flaherty, from Kirkby, Merseyside, was arrested at a restaurant in Caernarfon, North Wales, at 7.15pm last night.