Offaly murder believed to be gang-related

 

The discovery of the body of a Dublin man shot in an execution-style killing in the midlands at the weekend brings to six the number of suspected gangland deaths so far this year.

Gardaí in Birr, Co Offaly, opened a murder investigation after a farmer stumbled on the body of a man dumped along the side of a small road less than a mile from Coolderry village on Saturday. The man had his hands tied behind his back and had been shot in the head. He was named by gardaí last night as Mr Paul Ryan (27), of Grangemore Lawns, Raheny, Dublin.

Garda Supt Charles Devine, leading the investigation, declined to comment yesterday on whether the death was linked to a drugs feud in Dublin.

Of the 19 violent deaths this year, at least six have been linked to gangland feuds. This compares to eight gangland killings for all of last year.

Supt Devine said the investigation was in its early stages, and police had not identified any suspect for the killing. The area surrounding the lane where the body was discovered has been sealed off and an incident room set up in Birr Garda station.

The Deputy State Pathologist, Ms Marie Cassidy, who carried out a post-mortem on the body in Tullamore General Hospital on Saturday night, concluded that Mr Ryan died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

The man was 5 foot 10 inches in height, of thin build with cropped hair. He was wearing black Levi jeans and a white sweatshirt with a blue stripe on the sleeve.

The killing follows a recent increase in gangland activity in Dublin which saw the murder of Mr Declan Griffith, a suspected drug dealer and Garda informant.