Gardaí investigating the murder of a leading dissident republican on Leeside earlier this month believe that a car found burnt out in North Cork may have been used by his killers, further re-inforcing their view that he was killed by former associates in Cork.
Gardaí probing the murder of Aidan O'Driscoll examined a red Opel Astra found burnt out and dumped in a ravine between Rylane and Nadd in the Boggeragh Mountains in North Cork earlier this week after they were alerted to the presence of the vehicle in the area by a local.
According to a senior Garda source, it was impossible to recover the vehicle from the ravine but Garda technical experts managed to get down into the steep gully to examine the vehicle which had been destroyed by fire. They were able to get the chassis number and trace the car.
"We can't say with 100 per cent certainty that it is the red Opel Astra that was seen in the Monard area of Killeens on the day that Mr O'Driscoll was shot in Blackpool in Cork city but we were able to trace the car to a woman in Blarney who sold it in November," said the source.
“In that sense, it follows the same pattern as the two other two cars used by the killers in that both were both bought in cash deals in Cork by people using false names plus the fact it was found dumped in such a remote part of the county again suggests killers with good local knowledge.”
Gardaí believe that father of two, Mr O’Driscoll - who served for a period as self-styled chief of staff of the Real IRA - was gunned down by former associates from the Real IRA after he left the organisation and aligned himself with a faction of the New IRA set up in Cork.
Mr O'Driscoll (37), a father of two from Glen Heights in Ballyvolane on Cork's Northside, was fatally wounded when he was shot four times by two attackers as he walked along the Old Commons Road in Blackpool at around 5pm on December 7th.
At least one of the men fired at him from close range with a handgun and Mr O’Driscoll was wounded in the pelvis. He tried to flee but collapsed crossing the road where he was shot another three times by his killers and he died later at Cork University Hospital.
Supt Mick Comyns of Mayfield Garda Station said gardaí believe the two killers got into a silver grey Nissan Almera, possibly driven by a third man, which drove on to Watercourse Road before heading down one of the laneways through Madden's Buildings that lead on to Great William O'Brien Street.
Gardaí believe that the killers rendezvoused 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 and they abandoned the Nissan Almera and set it alight before driving along Redemption Road.
The gang attempted to burn the white Vauxhaul Astra estate at Monard in Killeens and gardaí believe that they then fled in a red Opel Astra which had been seen in the Monard/Killeens area several hours earlier including when its occupants met with the occupants of a black Toyota Avensis.
Gardaí have established that both the Nissan Almera and the Vauxhaul Astra estate were both bought from legitimate sellers in cash transactions in Co Cork earlier this year by people using false names and they are continuing to try and establish the identity of the purchasers.