Gardaí suspect Drumcondra gun murder related to Ballymun drugs dispute

Remains of Sean McCarthy (28) found in apartment on Saturday evening, four days after he was reported missing

A man found dead in an apartment in north Dublin at the weekend had been shot in what gardaí suspect was a drug-related murder.

Detectives investigating the killing of Sean McCarthy in Drumcondra believe he was killed by a man known to him after a dispute between them linked to a drugs debt.

Gardai are working on the theory Mr McCarthy (28) , who was believed to be involved in street drug dealing, met the man and went back to the apartment in Drumcondra where he was shot. However, while a localised drugs link is being invstigated, the killing is not regarded as a gangland crime.

Mr McCarthy, who was from Poppintree near Ballymun, had been reported missing last Tuesday. Gardaí released a missing persons alert last week as part of their search for him and there were grave concerns for his safety.


On Saturday evening, gardaí discovered Mr McCarthy’s body in an apartment on Achill Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. He had suffered gunshot wounds, and it is believed he had been dead for a number of days.

A man arrested on Saturday was still being held in Clontarf Garda station on Monday. He is being detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, which is used to detain persons of interest in suspected gang-related crimes. It allows gardaí to question a suspect for up to seven days without charge.

The man being questioned was known to the victim through their involvement in the drugs trade in the Ballymun area.

Mr McCarthy’s remains were left in the apartment on Saturday night into Sunday morning, when a preliminary examination of the body took place at the scene. His body was then removed to the Dublin City Mortuary where a postmortem was conducted by State Pathologist Sally Anne Collis.

The apartment on Achill Road remained sealed off on Monday to be examined by the Garda Technical Bureau. A major search for the murder weapon and anything else of evidential value continues.

An area of Griffith Park in Drumcondra was sealed off as part of the Garda investigation. The Garda water unit searched a short stretch of the Tolka River between two footbridges that had been sealed off for a time on Sunday morning. An item was recovered from the water and will be examined.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was travelling in the Home Farm Road area of Drumcondra and surrounding area between the morning of last Tuesday, August 2nd, and Saturday evening who “observed any activity which drew their attention” to contact the investigation team in Ballymun Garda station.

An incident room has been established at Ballymun station, where a murder investigation has been under way since Mr McCarthy’s remains were discovered on Saturday. A family liaison officer has also been appointed.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times