Ballyfermot murder: Victim only home for a week from UK

Man (55) shot at home of his mother not believed to have been involved in gangland crime

A man (55) was shot to death at the home of his elderly mother in Ballyfermot, Dublin on Monday morning. Video: Tom Honan

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Gardaí are investigating if a man who was shot dead in Ballyfermot on Monday morning was killed in a case of mistaken identity.

Confusion surrounds the murder of Thomas McCarthy (55) who had been living in the United Kingdom for a number of years and had arrived home about a week ago. He was staying in the home of his elderly mother in Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 when he was killed.

The victim was not known to gardaí and is not thought to have been involved in gangland crime either here or in the UK, leaving investigators with few leads as to why he was targeted. However, given the carefully planned nature of the murder, gardaí are satisfied organised criminals were behind the murder.

One person close to Mr McCarthy is believed to be associated with a local criminal gang whose leader has been a target of the Criminal Assets Bureau in recent years. This raises the possibility Mr McCarthy was either mistakenly targeted or killed because he knew this person, a source said.


At 11am on Monday, Mr McCarthy opened the front door of his mother’s house and was shot a number of times by a gunman with either a handgun or small calibre machine gun. He managed to retreat into the house where he was shot several more times.

The gunman fled in a Ford Fiesta. He drove it to another part of the large residential development where he set it on fire shortly after 11am, completely gutting the vehicle.

He then got in a Skoda Octavia which he drove to the Monksfield Lawns area of Clondalkin about 10 minutes away. This vehicle was also set alight by the man before he fled on foot towards a green area near Monksfield Walk.

On Monday afternoon, residents gathered in their front gardens as gardaí moved in and out of the victim’s semi-detached house. Most said they knew little of the family. “They’re decent people. They were well liked,” said one woman.