Gardaí to interview children of Dublin and Laois murder victims

Thu, Sep 27, 2012, 01:00

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING the gun murders of Declan O’Reilly (32) and Gerard Eglington (27) in Dublin and Laois on Monday are hopeful the children of the dead man who witnessed the attacks can be interviewed in coming days to help shed light on their fathers’ last movements.

O’Reilly’s 12-year-old son was walking just ahead of him on the South Circular Road, Crumlin, Dublin, at 8pm on Monday when the gunman struck. Detectives say although it was dark and the gunman was masked, they are still hopeful the boy can aid the inquiry.

In the case of the Eglington killing, gardaí say because the gunman was not wearing a balaclava and the killing occurred at his home in Portarlington at 8.30am when it was bright, they are hopeful two children present may be able to substantially aid the Garda inquiry.

The dead man’s 11-year-old stepdaughter and four-year-old son were in the house when the gunman gained access and shot him dead in the downstairs of the property at the Kilnacourt Woods estate in Portarlington.

Garda sources said while specialist child interviewers had been assigned to both cases, it took a number of days to build rapport and trust with a child to the stage where a meaningful interview is possible.

“Those contacts have been established, at that informal stage; they’re working away on that,” said one source.

Eglington was a member of one of two notorious feuding gangs in Crumlin and Drimnagh in Dublin, although he had moved to Laois because he knew his life was in danger.

His murder is believed to be feud related.

O’Reilly had stabbed to death drug dealer Derek Glennon (24) in Mountjoy Prison in 2007 and gardaí believe he was killed on Monday in revenge for the Glennon killing, for which he escaped conviction after pleading self-defence.

Gardaí in Dublin say while O’Reilly did not appear to have any major gang affiliation, meaning there will unlikely to be any revenge murders arising from his gunning down, the situation with the Eglington killing is less predictable.

The 27-year-old was part of the drugs gang led by jailed killer Brian Rattigan. He was the final key player of that gang to be taken out of circulation by being murdered or jailed.