DPP still considering file on murder of Real IRA chief, inquest told

Detectives arrest and question teenager about Aidan O’Driscoll killing in 2016

A Garda file on the murder of former Real IRA chief of staff Aidan O'Driscoll is still being considered by the Director of Public Prosecutions, an inquest into Mr O'Driscoll's death was told on Thursday.

Sgt Fergus Twomey told Cork City Coroner's Court a file on Mr O'Driscoll's killing has been sent to the DPP and gardaí are awaiting directions. He applied to Cork City Coroner, Philip Comyn, to have the matter adjourned until June 7th, 2018 and Mr Comyn agreed to adjourn the case until then.

Mr O'Driscoll's inquest previously heard evidence from Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster that he had died from haemorrhage and shock due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Mr O’Driscoll (37), a father of two, was shot dead on the Commons Road in Cork at about 5pm on December 7th, 2016.


The latest hearing of the inquest comes days after gardaí on Monday arrested a seventh person for questioning about the murder of Mr O'Driscoll from Glen Heights in Ballyvolane on Cork's northside. The 18-year-old man was arrested at his home in mid-Cork and he was brought to Mayfield Garda station for questioning.

The man was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and questioned for more than 10 hours before he was released without charge. A file will be prepared for the DPP on his involvement.

Gardaí under Supt Mick Comyns of Mayfield Garda station have arrested and questioned six men and one woman about the murder of Mr O'Driscoll who was shot four times by two gunmen.

Close range

Mr O'Driscoll had been dropped off by a colleague near Blackpool Church and was walking along the Commons Road when two men approached and shot him at close range, wounding him in the pelvis.

He tried to flee but collapsed and was shot another three times. He was rushed to Cork University Hospital for surgery. He died from his injuries less than two hours later.

Gardaí began a murder investigation and identified a silver grey Nissan Almera found burned out at the junction of Seminary Road and Redemption Road as the getaway car used by the killers.

Gardaí believe the killers met with a second car, a white Vauxhaul Astra van driven by another man with possibly another occupant, at the junction of Seminary Road and Redemption Road.

The gang attempted to burn the white Vauxhaul Astra estate at Monard in Killeens. Gardaí believe they then fled in a red Opel Astra which had been seen in the Monard area earlier. The red Opel Astra was later found dumped in a ravine near Rylane in north Cork. Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of all three cars for evidence.

Former associates

Gardaí were able to trace the purchase of the cars in the months running up to Mr O’Driscoll’s murder and arrested four men and a woman in the Blarney and Mallow Road areas in April.

They later arrested a fifth man in the Mallow Road area for questioning but all six were released without charge and no further arrests were made until the arrest of the teenager earlier this week.

Gardaí suspect Mr O’Driscoll was murdered by former associates from the Real IRA in Cork after he left and sided with a new grouping styling itself as the New IRA.

Nicknamed ‘the Beast’ from his days playing GAA, Mr O’Driscoll was convicted of Real IRA membership in 2006 and jailed for three years but his conviction was quashed on a technicality.

He was closely aligned with former Real IRA leader Alan Ryan shot dead in Dublin 2012. For a period prior to Mr Ryan's murder gardaí believe Mr O'Driscoll was chief of staff of the Real IRA.

However in a statement issued in 2013 by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Real IRA said Mr O'Driscoll had been stood down from the organisation 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-style shooting in Cork in 2013 but made no complaint to gardaí.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times