Gardaí hope to link chief suspect to Kelly murder


Gardaí­ investigating the shooting dead of veteran gangland figure Eamon Kelly are hopeful forensic tests on a car thought to be the getaway vehicle will link a chief suspect to the crime.

A man arrested minutes after Kelly’s murder outside his home in Killester, north Dublin, on Tuesday was still being questioned last night.

While he was arrested on foot on the same street the vehicle was abandoned, Garda sources said he was a distance from the car and his proximity to the vehicle will likely not be enough to charge him directly in relation to the murder.

However, he is being questioned about illegal possession of a firearm and membership of an illegal organisation, with a criminal charge on the latter now seen as most likely before his period of detention expires tomorrow.

The gun used to kill Kelly has still not been recovered. Gardaí­ are working on the theory that the man arrested was the getaway driver and not the person who pulled the trigger.

They believe the gunman escaped the scene on Stiles Court in Clontarf just before a patrol car arrived.

Car set alight

Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that the gunman, whom gardaí believe they have identified, took the murder weapon with him after getting out of the car.

They also believe the gun may have been discarded in the general location of the killing on Furry Park Road or as the killer and his driver sped down Howth Road before turning in to the residential area at Stiles Court.

The car had been set on fire at that location and the suspect under arrest was walking away as gardaí­ arrived.

However, the vehicle was only partially burned and gardaí­ are hopeful it will yield forensic evidence that will link the man in custody to the crime and also offer other clues that may lead to the arrest of his accomplice.

‘Company car’

The car had not been reported stolen and gardaí believe it was a so-called “company car”, one that had failed the NCT and had changed hands for cash on the black market.

Door-to-door inquiries were conducted yesterday in Killester and Clontarf, with gardaí­ looking for any witnesses who may have seen the car – a black Lexus with a Dublin 1990s registration.

Kelly, a 65-year-old father of nine, was heavily involved in organised crime. From Summerhill in Dublin’s north inner city, he had lived for more than 30 years on the middle-class street where he was killed, just off the Howth Road and next to Clontarf.

He was ambushed outside his house while walking home just after 4pm on Tuesday.

Gardaí believe Kelly, a convicted cocaine dealer, former member of the Workers’ Party and Official IRA associate, had spent the last decade mentoring many of the gangs leading the drugs trade in Dublin.

Some of those gangs have become involved in feuding with the Real IRA in recent years, after the dissidents tried to extort money from them.