Two held over journalist's death


Gardaí investigating the murder of journalist Eugene Moloney in Dublin at the weekend have made two arrests.

Two men were arrested in the early hours of this morning in south Dublin.

The men, who are in their 20s, are being detained at Kevin Street and Pearse Street Garda stations under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

The dead man was identified last night as journalist Eugene Moloney, who had worked for the Irish Independent.

Mr Moloney, who was in his 50s, was originally from Donegal but grew up in Belfast. He had been in Dublin city centre with friends on Saturday night and was returning to his home in Portobello, south Dublin, when he was attacked. He was found collapsed at the junction of Lower Camden Street and Pleasants Street, at pedestrian traffic lights outside Devitt’s Pub just before 4.30am.

Garda sources said a nurse who was in the area at the time attended to him as gardaí and an ambulance made their way to the area. When they arrived Mr Moloney was treated at the scene for a short period by the paramedics before being taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital. He had suffered serious head injuries and efforts to save him failed. He was pronounced dead a short time after arriving at the hospital.

Mr Moloney did not have any identification on him when he was found and it took most of yesterday to identify him. Once gardaí established his identity they began piecing together his last movements. He was out on Saturday night and when making his way home was punched in the head after words were exchanged with a number of people on the street at the spot where he was found. He fell to the ground when he was struck and the injuries he sustained to the head proved fatal.

The area where the incident occurred is a busy nightlife spot in the heart of the south inner city and is well covered by CCTV cameras. Footage from cameras in the area was being studied last night.

Mr Moloney worked with the Irish Independent for more than 20 years before taking a redundancy package a number of years ago and travelling in Europe and in southeast Asia. He recently moved back to Dublin and was working for the Daily Mail newspaper as a freelance writer.

Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Seamus Dooley, expressed condolences to Mr Moloney's family.

He recalled the journalist's long association with the Irish Independent NUJ chapel and his "lively participation in chapel meetings".

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Eugene Moloney as they come to terms with his senseless killing. Eugene was a vibrant, enthusiastic journalist with an engaging personality and a genuine passion for newsgathering.

His death comes as a shock to his family, to his journalistic colleagues and to a wide circle of friends."

Mr Dooley said Mr Moloney could be relied upon to enliven whatever company he was in.

"He embraced life fully and had an abiding interest in music and travel. To lose a colleague who had so much to offer at such a young age is a tragedy and an immense loss. Whenever one met Eugene he was planning his next trip. He was imbued with enthusiasm and a zest for life”.

The Independent Newspapers chapel also expressed its sympathy to Mr Moloney's family. In a statement, it said he was "a happy-go-lucky native of Donegal, who was very popular with his colleagues".

"He was a regular, reliable reporting voice at the height of the Troubles for the Irish News and went on to join the Evening Herald and then the Irish Independent in the 1980s.

An old-school hack, he was noted for his ability in the field to uncover a story."

The chapel said Mr Moloney had also been "a great fan of Bob Dylan and country and western music".

"A thoughtful man, he once brought in a takeaway meal and a bottle of brandy to a colleague who was in hospital in case she disliked the hospital food. And he always had plenty of anecdotes on everything from showbiz to his travels in South America and South East Asia."