Kelly murder inquiry continues
Kelly, a 65-year-old father-of-nine, was heavily involved in organised crime. From Summerhill in Dublin’s north inner city, he had lived for more than 30 years on the middle-class street where he was killed, just off the Howth Road and next to Clontarf.
A convicted cocaine dealer, gardaí believe Kelly had spent the last decade mentoring many of the criminal gangs leading the drugs trade in Dublin. Some of those gangs have become involved in feuding with the Real IRA in the city in recent years, after the dissidents tried to extort money from them.
The feud has resulted in a number of pipe bomb and shootings attacks, with a number of men having lost their lives linked to that violence.
On September 3rd last, Real IRA figure Alan Ryan was shot dead on the street in Clongriffin in north Dublin and a man he was with was seriously wounded but survived. That killing significantly escalated the feud.
Gardaí believe Ryan was shot dead in a conspiracy between a number of crime gangs as part of their efforts to resist the extortion demands of the Real IRA, with Ryan having led that extortion campaign.
Intelligence suggests the Real IRA believe Eamon Kelly had assisted the gangs in organising the Ryan murder, with Kelly believed to have been gunned down as a result of his involvement.
He had survived an attempt on his life outside his house two years ago when the gunman ran off after pointing his weapon at Kelly’s head only for it to jam. The Real IRA were the chief suspects for that incident.
Having started his working life as a labourer on building sites and for the ESB, Kelly was a one-time member of the Workers Party and was on the fringes of the Official IRA.
He became involved in Kellys Carpetdrome, which was wound up in the early 1980s owing millions of pounds and he also had a share in a property company at that time.
He stabbed a man in 1984 outside the Workers Party Club in Dublin’s north inner city and sentenced to 10 years, though he secured a retrial at which he was acquitted on some of the charges.
In 1992 he was caught collecting cocaine valued at £500,000 from a Cuban woman in a Dublin hotel after it had been smuggled from Colombia via Miami. He was jailed for 14 years but from the time he was freed just over a decade ago he had taken on the role of senior mentor to younger gang leaders including Eamon Dunne, the head of a major Finglas gang before he was shot dead two years ago.
The investigation into Kelly’s murder is based at Clontarf Garda station but is being aided by a range of specialist units including the anti terrorist Special Detective Unit.