Veteran criminal killed in Dublin
The veteran Dublin criminal and one of the first men to be caught in Ireland with a large commercial quantity of cocaine, Eamon Kelly, has been killed this afternoon.
The Irish Times understands a gun man chased after Kelly (65) near his home in Killester, north Dublin, and shot him as he tried to flee. Gardaí believe up to six shots were fired.
Gardaí were quickly on the scene and arrested a suspect close by. The arrested men is a well known dissident Republican from south west Dublin.
Gardaí are working on the theory that the arrested man was in a car with another man when one of them jumped out and chased Kelly, shooting him on the street just outside his home on Furry Park Rd, Killester.
The men are believed to have fled the scene in their vehicle but were seen as they tried to burn it out in nearby Clontarf.
Kelly was taken to Beaumont Hospital where he was treated for his wounds but died a short time later.
In September 2010, Kelly was the victim of a murder attempt when he was targeted at the same location where he was shot today.
On that occasion a gunman pointed a gun at his head but the weapon jammed and the gunman panicked and ran away. Kelly refused to make a statement to the gardaí at the time.
Gardaí believe that incident was carried out by the Real IRA in Dublin and was part of a then growing dispute between the dissident group and organised crime gangs in the city.
That dispute has since significantly escalated, with the Real IRA now involved in a major extortion-based feud with a number of criminal gangs in Dublin.
Gardaí are now trying to establish if Kelly’s shooting today was part of that dispute or if he was embroiled in conflict with criminals known to him.
Garda sources said while the investigation into Kelly’s shooting is at a very early stage, it appears he was targeted by the Dublin Real IRA.
The shooting came just hours after an unrelated incident in the north inner city today when a 21-year-old suspected member of the Real IRA was caught with a pistol in a car when the vehicle was stopped and searched by the Special Detective Unit and Emergency Response Unit.
Kelly was convicted on May 15th, 1993, of having some £500,000 worth of cocaine in his possession in September 1992 for supply. On May 27th, 1993, he was jailed for 14 years. A similar sentence was imposed after a retrial.
Active in socialist and republican circles in his young days, he also has a conviction for assault. He has maintained contacts with a number of criminal gangs since being released from prison around ten years ago. One of those gangs is based Finglas in Dublin and was once led by the murdered gang leader Eamon Dunne.