Gardaí examine similarities in Dublin and Laois gang murders

Wed, Sep 26, 2012, 01:00

FEUDING:GARDAÍ ARE trying to determine whether similarities between the murders on Monday of Declan O’Reilly (32) in Dublin and Gerard Eglington (27) in Co Laois are coincidental or represent something more significant.

Eglington was a key member of one of two gangs feuding for 12 years in the neighbouring Dublin suburbs of Crumlin and Drimnagh. More than a dozen people have been killed as a result of the feud.

Eglington was the last member of the faction led by convicted killer Brian Rattigan to be taken out of action, either by being killed or jailed.

The gang has “nobody left standing”, according to one source, although one of its key members is due for release from prison next year.

Other senior sources said that the getaway vehicles used in both murders had been stolen in west Dublin within weeks of each other and the number plates had not been changed on either.

“Usually the plates would be changed to match an identical car of the same colour and model so it wouldn’t show up as stolen if it was picked up on a Garda camera or a quick check was done,” said one source.

“So for the plates not to be changed in one murder is unusual and for them not to be changed for two murders on the same day: that is very unusual. It’s very hard to say if it’s significant but it might be that the cars were sourced by the same people.”

Gardaí believe those behind the murder of O’Reilly watched him walking down the South Circular Road with his 12-year-old son for a short period before moving in to attack him at about 8pm.

A gunman jumped from a BMW 3 Series silver-coloured car, fired at least four shots from a 9mm handgun and fatally wounded O’Reilly in the neck and chest before jumping back into the vehicle, which was driven away at speed.

The car, which had a 04 registration, was found burned out with the murder weapon inside at O’Curry Avenue, a short distance from the crime scene.

The vehicle was stolen in the course of a burglary in the Monastery Road area of Clondalkin during the night of Tuesday, September 18th-19th.

Garda Supt Thady Muldoon told reporters at a briefing at Kevin Street Garda station that gardaí were keen to establish where the vehicle was parked from the time it was stolen until it was used in the killing.

The main line of investigation is that O’Reilly was shot dead in revenge for the stabbing to death of drug dealer Derek Glennon (24) in Mountjoy Prison in 2007. O’Reilly was acquitted of murder after pleading self-defence.

However, associates of Glennon appeared determined to kill O’Reilly. They wounded him in a shooting in Harold’s Cross, Dublin, last September and targeted the family in hand grenade attacks.

Gardaí believe well-known gang member Eglington was shot dead by one of the feuding factions in Crumlin and Drimnagh.

They are working on the theory that his murder was ordered because he broke the leg of one of the opposing faction in a pub row early last year and slashed the face of a woman linked to the faction.

Facing criminal charges at the time of his death but out on bail, he was shot at 8.30am on Monday in the house on the Kilnacourt Woods estate in Portarlington, Co Laois, to which he had moved.

His 11-year-old stepdaughter and four-year-old son were in the house when the gunman gained access and shot him dead downstairs.

The car used by the killers was a dark blue Mazda 6, with an 05 registration. It had been stolen at Castleknock in Dublin in the middle of August.

Gardaí said the number plates had not been changed on the car following the robbery and they appealed for anyone with information on its whereabouts in recent weeks to contact them.