Sixth person held over murder of dissident republican in Cork

Detectives to prepare file for DPP after releasing five arrested over shooting of Aidan O’Driscoll

Gardaí investigating the murder of former Real IRA chief of staff Aidan O'Driscoll shot dead in Cork city last year have arrested a sixth person for questioning about the killing.

Detectives arrested the man in his early 40s at a house in the Ballyvolane area of Cork's north side at about 9pm on Sunday and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning about the murder.

The man was arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 48 hours before they must be either charged or released.

The arrest came just hours before gardaí released without charge three other men arrested on Wednesday for questioning about the murder of O'Driscoll (37) in Blackpool on December 7th.


The three men, aged 31, 28 and 22 were released shortly before midnight on Sunday from the Bridewell, Mayfield and Gurranebraher Garda wtations where they were being detained.

The 31 year old man was arrested in the Mallow Road area of Cork city while the other two men were arrested at a house in the Station Road area of Blarney at around 6.30am on Wednesday.

Gardaí also arrested a 77 year old man and a 19 year old woman in another raid on a house in Blarney on Wednesday but the man was released on Thursday and the woman on Friday night.

A Garda spokesman confirmed gardaí will now prepare a file on all five people for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is understood all five were suspected of being involved in the sourcing of three cars used by two gunmen who shot father of two O’Driscoll four times as he walked along Commons Road in Blackpool.

Gardaí believe O’Driscoll was shot in the pelvis and collapsed as he tried to flee across the road only for the two gunmen to fire a further three shots at him as he fell, fatally wounding him.

Detectives established that the two killers fled the scene in a silver grey Nissan Almera which was later found burned out at the junction of Seminary Road and Redemption Road.

Gardaí believe the killers met with a second car, a white Vauxhall 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 Vauxhall 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 area earlier.

Gardaí later found the red Opel Astra dumped in a ravine near Rylane in North Cork and Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of all three cars for evidence.

Gardaí were able to trace the purchase of all three cars in the months running up to O’Driscoll’s murder and they believe his killers are all from Cork and part of a dissident republican group.

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

O'Driscoll was closely aligned with former Real IRA leader Alan Ryan shot dead in Dublin 2012 and gardaí believe he was chief of staff of the Real IRA when he lived for a period in Tallaght.

However in a statement issued by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement in 2013, the Real IRA said Mr O'Driscoll who was from Ballyvolane in Cork, 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