herald

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Gardai seize the 'murder car' used to mow down drug dealer after chase

The scene of the incident at Esker Glebe, Lucan, Dublin Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
The scene of the incident at Esker Glebe, Lucan, Dublin Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

A murdered drug dealer was beaten, stabbed and run over by a gang of up to six men after a dramatic car chase in west Dublin.

Gardai have seized the car which they believe was used to mow down Neil Reilly (36).

Reilly was still alive when he was driven over in the horrific attack. He later died in hospital.

Detectives are treating the killing - which is believed to have kicked off over a drugs dispute - as a gangland attack.

The car was found near the murder scene at Esker Glebe, where Reilly was savagely attacked at 4am yesterday.

His Mazda car was also found at the scene and officers believe he met his death after jumping out of the vehicle when it crashed into a lamppost.

He was then set upon by as many as six men who escaped in another car and also on foot.

Shots

Gardai believe that the father-of-two was involved in an incident minutes beforehand, during which shots were fired at a house in Liscarne Gardens, Clondalkin.

It's not believed Reilly was on his own when the property was shot at.

"He was trying to send out a clear message but this backfired spectacularly," a source told the Herald last night.

Reilly fled the area in a car but was followed by two other vehicles. A high-speed 7km chase ensued, which crossed the Fonthill area, before Reilly's silver Mazda was stopped in the Glebe area of Lucan just yards from his home.

He was then subjected to a savage assault, during which he was beaten and stabbed several times. His attackers then drove a car over Reilly as he lay seriously injured on the ground.

Gardai believe that some of the gang fled in a jeep, while two others fled on foot.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the victim was rushed to James Connolly Hospital.He was pronounced dead at 5.30am.

Two vehicles have been recovered and will be examined by forensic officers.

No arrests have yet been made in relation to the murder but detectives are following a definite line of inquiry.

While Reilly was a convicted drug dealer and considered a dangerous criminal, people that knew him were stunned by the murder.

Neighbours in St Finian's Close said they were shocked at his death. Although they knew he had been in trouble with the law in the past, they said he had never brought problems to his door.

"We knew he'd been in jail over drugs, but he seemed to be away from all that now. He was repairing cars and things," said one man.

"I'd meet him out walking his dogs and he seemed fine. It's going to be very hard on his mother and kids. He was an only child," the man added.

Another neighbour said: "He'd help you out if you needed it. Neil was very obliging that way. It's a sad end for anybody."

Senior gardai, including Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan, attended the scene yesterday morning.

Superintendent Dermot Mann, from Lucan Garda Station, said that "five to six people" were involved in the attack.

"A number of shots were fired at a house in Liscarne Gardens, nobody was injured in that incident. A number of cars left there, we are not sure how many," he said.

"Very soon after that gardai were asked to respond to a call to the scene behind me [Esker Glebe] where a number of cars had crashed into a car here.

"After the crash there was a serious altercation on the street involving five to six people or maybe more," he added.

Gardai believe that a number of people living in the area would have witnessed the fatal assault, and are appealing for these people to contact them.

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