IRA are suspects in the murder of criminal


Gardai investigating the murder of the Dublin criminal Seamus Hogan were last night considering several theories about who was responsible, including the possibility that he was shot by the IRA.

Hogan, who served six years' imprisonment after he was arrested in 1988 in an incident in which he fired shots at unarmed gardai, was walking from the Transport Club on Clogher Road, Crumlin, at 9.25 p.m. on Saturday when two men approached him and opened fire. He was with his wife Lily. She was uninjured.

Fourteen shots were fired and he was hit by at least six bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hogan (48), from Balfe Road, Walkinstown, was a member of the gang of armed robbers led by Martin Cahill ("The General") in the 1970s and 80s. He came to public attention in 1984 when he was spokesman for a group called Concerned Criminal Action Committee, set up to combat the vigilante activities of anti-drug campaigners. Hogan was involved in shooting one campaigner and was himself targeted by the IRA during that period. There were concerns last year that the IRA was again intent on killing Hogan and another former associate in the Cahill gang.

The IRA has shot dead eight men suspected of drug dealing in the Republic and in Northern Ireland in the past 18 months. Since calling its first cease-fire in August 1994 the IRA also killed another 12 people using the cover name Direct Action Against Dealers (DAAD) in an attempt to divert responsibility.

Other criminals suspected Hogan was a Garda informant, and investigating detectives are considering the theory that he might have been shot by former associates.

Hogan was blamed for giving information to the Garda after his arrest following a drugs find in 1999.

Two attempts were made on his life in July and August that year.

Gardai yesterday appealed for assistance in identifying a car they recovered believed to have been used by Hogan's killers. They particularly want to know about the movements of a black Mazda 323 which was in the Walkinstown/Crumlin area around 9 p.m. on Saturday