Five arrested over murder of former Real IRA chief in Cork

Aidan O’Driscoll believed to be former chief-of-staff of dissident republican group

Gardaí have arrested five people for questioning about the murder of former leading dissident republican Aidan O'Driscoll (37) in Cork last December.

Detectives arrested the men at addresses in Blarney and the Mallow Road area of Cork at about 6.30am on Wednesday morning and brought them to separate Garda stations in Cork for questioning.

The three men, two in their 20s and one in his 30s, were arrested under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí hold suspects for up to seven days.

The man in his 30s, who was arrested in the Mallow Road area, is being held at the Bridewell Garda station while the other two men are being detained at Mayfield and Gurranebraher Garda stations.


Gardaí later arrested a woman in her 20s and a man in his 70s in the Blarney area at about 8am and both are being questioned at Togher Garda station about Mr O’Driscoll’s murder.

The arrests are the first by gardaí for the murder of Mr O’Driscoll who served for a period as self-styled chief of staff of the Real IRA but had fallen out with former associates in more recent times.

Mr O'Driscoll, a father of two from Glen Heights in Ballyvolane on Cork's northside ,was shot dead as he walked home from work along Commons Road in Cork on December 7th.

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

At least one of the men fired at Mr O’Driscoll with a handgun. Hhe collapsed while trying to flee across the road and his killers shot him another three times.

He died later at Cork University Hospital.

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 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 that 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