Inquiry into shooting of ex-garda
A postmortem has found that a former garda who was found dead in his isolated home in Co Cavan yesterday died of gunshot wounds.
John Kearns (49), Carnavegh, Beglieve, Bailieborough, was shot twice, at least once in the head, as he sat watching TV on the sofa. There were no signs of a struggle or break-in and gardaí believe he may have been killed by somebody known to him whom he had let into the house.
An incident room has been set up in Bailieboro Garda station and the investigation is ongoing. Gardaí are still at the scene carrying out a forensic examination.
Mr Kearns was a former detective who had become involved in organised crime since leaving the force three years ago. He was a separated man and had become reclusive and dishevelled since leaving the Garda, sources said.
While still a garda he had set up a private security firm. It is understood that equipment at the sites his company was guarding had gone missing several times and that he was a suspect in a number of the thefts.
A former member of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, he was suspected of continued involvement in such crimes after leaving the Garda. He had recently appeared in court in Cork to face a number of charges relating to stolen property. Gardaí are trying to establish if the murder is in any way linked to the disappearance and presumed murder of a man known to him.
Gerard Daly (44), who was originally from Knockmore Grove, Tallaght, Dublin, was a dog breeder and suspected criminal who had settled in Bailieborough. Nothing has been heard of him since he went missing from his home beside Kearns’ on June 26th 2011.
At the time of his death yesterday, Mr Kearns was facing two charges of handling stolen property at Black Ash, South Ring Road, Cork, and at Alderbrook, Togher, Co Cork. Both charges related to the seizure of stolen property by gardaí in April 5th last, including plant equipment such as power washers and compressors, with a total value of about €23,000. He was due to go on trial on February 5th.
In an unrelated incident, a quantity of cannabis and stun guns had been found at his house. Cannabis plants were also found at his property yesterday.
Mr Kearns had been awarded a large sum of money, believed to be €250,000, for injuries sustained in an assault and crash while working as a garda.