Aidan O’Driscoll murder: Gardaí suspect former local associates

Investigators believe republican was killed by people from Cork with good local knowledge

Aidan O’Driscoll(37) had sided with the New IRA grouping in Cork led by a former Real IRA man in his 40s while several of his former comrades remained with Real IRA. Photograph:Collins

Aidan O’Driscoll(37) had sided with the New IRA grouping in Cork led by a former Real IRA man in his 40s while several of his former comrades remained with Real IRA. Photograph:Collins

 

Gardaí investigating the murder of dissident republican Aidan O’Driscoll in Cork are increasingly coming to the view that he was killed by former associates on Leeside.

They suspect locals were behind the murder rather than by dissident republican or criminal elements from elsewhere.

Detectives have begun examining Mr O’Driscoll’s position within the dissident republican movement in Cork which has some 25 to 30 members. However a split emerged three years ago between a grouping styling itself the New IRA and those who remained loyal to the Real IRA.

It is understood that Mr O’Driscoll (37) had sided with the New IRA grouping in Cork led by a former Real IRA man in his 40s while several of his former comrades remained with Real IRA. He suffered minor leg injuries in a punishment shooting by the Real IRA in 2013 for “unrepublican conduct”.

According to Garda sources, Mr O’Driscoll’s influence within the Real IRA had been on the wane for some time. While he was not an isolated figure since the punishment shooting, his standing within the dissident republican movement in Cork was nothing compared to what it had been.

Gardai are still trying to establish a possible motive for his murder by his former comrades. They are looking at his personal history over the last six months as they believe whatever led to his killing is more likely to have occurred in the relatively recent past rather than further back.

The Garda focus on dissidents in Leeside comes after detectives traced two cars used by his killers to two separate locations in Cork. Tthey believed his killers had a good local knowledge in being able to navigate their way out of Blackpool in rush hour traffic.

A painter by trade, Mr O’Driscoll from Glen Heights, Ballyvolane was died after he was shot four times by one or possibly two gunmen. They ambushed him on the Old Commons Road in Blackpool after he was dropped off by a work colleague around 5pm on December 7th.

The killers made their getaway in a silver/grey Nissan Almera which they abandoned at the junction of Seminary Road and Redemption Road. From there they were picked up by another person in a white Vauxhall Astra estate who drove them to Monard in Killeens where they tried to burn the Astra.

Gardaí were able to trace the two cars, the Nissan Almera Reg No 01 TS 1312 and the white Vauxhall Astra estate Reg No 99 G 12357 to two car owners in Cork who sold them in separate cash sales earlier this year to individuals using false names and addresses.

According to Garda sources, the fact that both vehicles were bought at different times at two separate locations in Cork is inclining them to the view that the killers are from Leeside rather than from anywhere else in the country.

Gardai say that this thesis is further supported by the intimate knowledge that the killers appeared to have of laneways and backstreets around Blackpool. This enabled them to drive in along Watercourse Road and then cut through Maddens Buildings on to Great William O’Brien Street and on to Seminary Road.

They also point out that it would require someone with good local knowledge to find their way from the city to Monard in Killeens in rush hour traffic and then get out of Monard given the many boreens and byways in the locality where someone unfamiliar with the area could easily get lost.