Gardaí release suspect in investigation into Real IRA murder

Former dissident republican Aidan O’Driscoll was shot dead in Cork late last year

Gardaí are to prepare a file for the DPP after releasing without charge a man arrested for questioning about the murder of former dissident republican Aidan O’Driscoll in Cork late last year.

Detectives arrested the man in his early 40s at a house in the Ballyvolane area of Cork's northside on Sunday night and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning about the murder.

The man was detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and gardaí later got an extension to his period of detention but he was released without charge on Wednesday evening.

Mr O'Driscoll was shot dead on the Commons Road near Blackpool Church on December 7th.


The arrest was the sixth by gardaí investigating the shooting and followed the earlier arrests of four men aged 77, 31, 28 and 22 and a 19-year-old woman for questioning about the killing.

All five were later released without charge and a Garda spokesman confirmed that gardaí will also prepare a file for the DPP in relation to their suspected involvement in the murder.

Mr O’Driscoll, a father of two from Glen Heights in Ballyvolane, was shot dead as he walked home from work along Commons Road at about 5pm on December 7th last.

Mr O’Driscoll had just been dropped off by a work colleague when two men approached him and shot him at close range.

Emergency surgery

He was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery but he died within a number of hours and gardaí began a murder investigation.

Nicknamed “The Beast” when playing GAA, Mr O’Driscoll was convicted of Real IRA membership in 2006 and sentenced to three years in jail but his conviction was quashed on a technicality.

He was closely aligned with former Real IRA leader Alan Ryan who was shot dead in Dublin 2012 and for a period gardaí believe Mr O'Driscoll, who moved to Dublin, was chief of staff of the Real IRA.

However in a statement issued by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement in 2013, the Real IRA said Mr O'Driscoll had been stood down for "unrepublican activities".

It is believed he may have siphoned off funds destined for the paramilitary organisation and he was later shot in the legs in a punishment-type shooting in Cork in 2013 but made no complaint to gardaí.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times