herald

Monday 22 May 2017

Cartel's 'incompetent hitman' linked to third killing of innocent man

Hitman Glen Clarke
Hitman Glen Clarke
Murder victim Dean Johnson

A bungling Kinahan cartel hitman linked to the gun murders of two innocent men was also chief suspect for the 2013 killing of another man shot in a case of mistaken identity.

Suspected hitman Glen Clarke was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his right eye on the Riverdale Estate in Leixlip, Co Kildare, on December 2 last. Gardai believe he was either murdered or his death was accidental.

It previously emerged that he was suspect for the feud murders of innocent men Trevor O'Neill (40) in Majorca last August and Martin O' Rourke (24) who was shot dead in Sheriff Street in April of last year.

Both men were victims of mistaken identity but the Herald can reveal gardai had also identified Clarke as the gunman in the case of Dean Johnson who was shot dead in the early hours of August 24, 2013 at Harelawn Green in Clondalkin as part of a separate feud.

Mr Johnson (21) was not involved in crime and it quickly emerged that the intended target was the now jailed Clondalkin hood James 'Nellie' Walsh (30) who escaped unharmed in the shocking incident.

Despite Clarke's death last December, the investigation into Mr Johnson's murder is ongoing with gardai having arrested more than 12 people in connection with the crime.

The latest revelation means Clarke has now been identified as a suspect for three botched murders of innocent men.

"Clarke must be considered the most incompetent hitman in the history of organised crime in Ireland," a source said. "The tragic thing about this is that all the men he shot dead were innocent people."

There is major speculation that dad-of-two Clarke was in fact murdered last December for "making a balls" of so many hits and he may have been set-up by one of his closest associates in the Kinahan cartel.

Probe

Gardai however are not yet officially treating his death as murder even though it is the subject of a huge probe involving specialist officers.

Gardai in Co Kildare initially believed Clarke had committed suicide after discovering a handgun in the footwell of the stolen silver Vauxhall Zafira that his body was found in.

The car, with false number plates, had been stolen in Blanchardstown last October.

After a review of the case over the Christmas period, gardai concluded the death was "most likely" an accident. It has also been reported that Clarke was wearing a boiler suit when his body was found. One theory is whether Clarke was in Leixlip in relation to an attempted hit on cartel target Noel Kirwan (62).

Kirwan was shot dead at his Ronanstown home three weeks after Clarke's body was found in the stolen car.

Clarke's mother has repeatedly denied her son was involved with the Kinahan cartel and believes he was murdered.

"He didn't shoot himself. I believe my son was murdered," she reportedly said this year. "Glen didn't work for the Kinahans. He was on social welfare."

Last week, mum-of-five Carol Clarke (57) admitted at Dublin Circuit Court to taking more than €100k in cash in her sister's name from the Department of Social Welfare between 1994 and 2011. She is due to be sentenced in July.

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