Gardaí suspect Dublin drug feud link in double killing

 

GARDAÍ SAY they believe that the two men whose remains were found in a burnt-out car in Co Louth were shot dead in a drug-related attack.

After they were killed, the vehicle was set alight by their killer, or killers, in an effort to destroy any evidence of the crime.

The apparent double gun murder occurred just 24 hours after four other men were wounded, two of them fatally, in a gun attack at a house in Kilcock, Co Kildare.

However, the Kildare and Louth attacks are not believed by the Garda to be linked.

The car found burnt out in Louth was a VW Golf. It had been parked just off the main Dublin-Belfast road, north of Dundalk and south of Newry at Ravensdale wood on Wednesday night, having been stolen in Dublin in recent days.

Both of the deceased are believed to be criminals in their 20s from Dublin’s north inner city and are suspected of involvement in the drugs trade. However, Garda sources said the men’s bodies, which were in the front seating area of the car, one on top of the other, were so badly burnt that dental records would be needed to formally identify them.

One line of investigation is that the men were shot as they sat in the front seats of the car by a third person sitting on the back seat, who then set the car on fire to destroy any forensic evidence that might link them to the crime.

It is not clear why two Dublin men were in a stolen car in a secluded area of Co Louth late at night, but gardaí say they believe they may have gone there to meet another criminal associate who then shot them dead.

One of the men was slumped over the other in the front seats and the driver’s door of the vehicle was also open.

The alarm was raised at about 10.50pm on Wednesday by a passer-by who noticed the car on fire in the wooded beauty spot just off the M1 motorway about five minutes’ drive north of Dundalk.

A fire tender was dispatched from Dundalk and the blaze was brought under control in what appeared initially to the fire service to be a routine call-out.

However, the fire crew noticed what they thought were two bodies in the car and they called gardaí.

The scene was sealed off when gardaí arrived and the bodies remained in the vehicle overnight.

Deputy State Pathologist Khalid Jaber yesterday carried out a preliminary examination of the bodies at the scene before they were removed for postmortems at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Those examinations were not complete last night.

While gardaí believe they know who the men are, Garda Supt Gerry Curley of Dundalk, who is leading the investigation, issued a direct appeal to anyone who knew anything about the deaths to make contact with them.

Gardaí have also been in contact with the Police Service of Northern Ireland as part of their inquiries after it emerged yesterday afternoon that another car, possibly connected to the events at Ravensdale, had been found abandoned at Jonesboro, a short distance north of Ravensdale and very close to the Border with Northern Ireland.