Limerick man shot dead in country laneway


The 19-year-old Limerick man killed in the country's latest gangland-style killing was due to become a father in a few weeks. Aidan Kelly, from College Avenue, Moyross, Limerick, was shot up to five times and left for dead in a country laneway in Blackwater near the Co Clare village of Ardnacrusha on Wednesday night.

Locals raised the alarm after hearing a number of shots at about 11pm and two ambulances rushed to the scene.

Mr Kelly was still alive when he was taken from the scene but he died a short time later at the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

Although known to gardaí the victim was not regarded as a "serious criminal" and his previous convictions related mostly to road traffic offences.

It is believed he was lured to the Blackwater area, which is located about two miles outside Limerick city, where the attack was carried out.

Yesterday his distraught relatives insisted his death was not related to any gangland feud in Limerick.

Commenting briefly outside the family home in College Avenue, Moyross, his father, Liam Kelly, said his family was "devastated".

"You wouldn't believe it," he said. The second youngest of five, the victim is also survived by his mother Mary.

His girlfriend Nicola Sopp is due to give birth in a few weeks' time.

Garda forensic experts spent yesterday at the scene examining Mr Kelly's Silver Opel Astra which was found abandoned nearby. A technical examination was also being carried out on a shotgun which was discovered at the scene, however senior Garda sources do not believe it was the murder weapon.

Detectives are also investigating whether or not a shooting which took place in Moyross earlier on Wednesday night is connected to Mr Kelly's brutal killing. It is understood shots were fired at a group of people in the College Avenue area at about 7pm. However, no complaint was made to gardaí.

"We have not established motive at this time," said Supt Gerry Mahon, who is leading the murder inquiry.

Mr Kelly was shot up to five times, once in the head and four times in the torso and leg.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy travelled to Limerick yesterday to carry out a postmortem on the victim at the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

His death has led to the first murder inquiry to be carried out by gardaí in Limerick so far this year. It takes place just eight months after a similar gangland-style killing, also in Co Clare, which was carried out last October, when David Noonan was shot dead.

The 25-year-old who had also been lured from his home in the city was found dead in the courtyard of a house in the village of Parteen about two miles from where Mr Kelly's body was found.

The laneway where Mr Kelly was found is also less than 200 yards from where builder and part-time car salesman Seán Poland was shot dead at his home by armed robbers late on New Year's Eve 2001.