Murder victim served term for killing


THE man shot dead outside a Dublin apartment complex had served a prison sentence for manslaughter, according to Garda sources.

The victim, who has not been named by gardai, was in his early 30s. He was shot four times in the upper body and died immediately in the car he was driving. He had been entering the car park of the Clifden Court apartment complex in Ellis Street, off Ellis Quay.

Two men on a small motorcycle, between 125 to 200 cc, drove into the street as the man was using a swipe card to enter the garage.

After they drew up, the pillion passenger dismounted and shot the man at least four times with a handgun, shattering the glass in the window. Local people who heard the shots said about five or six shots were fired rapidly.

The gunmen escaped on the motorcycle through Benburb Street. Gardai said eyewitnesses described them as wearing crash helmets and leather motorcycle clothing. The passenger was reported to be 5 foot 10 inches and slim.

Residents of the apartments last night said they did not recognise the car, a Vauxhall Cavalier, or the driver, and thought he might have been visiting someone. The man is believed to live locally.

The incident bore the hallmarks of a gangland killing and was similar in method to the killing of the journalist, Veronica Guerin, at traffic lights on the Naas dual carriageway on June 27th last.

It also happened a day after the Minister for Justice, Mrs Owen, told an international conference of private detectives that the State was "tackling head on the threat of drugs and organised crime".

Including the murder of Ms Guerin, it is the 13th related to organised crime in Dublin in the past two years.

Investigating garda have appealed for witnesses. A special phone number, 872 5777, has been set up at the Bridewell Garda Station.

In a separate incident, a member of the travelling community was taken to hospital after being shot in the leg in Ronanstown, Dublin, at midnight. He was shot in his caravan.