herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Graveyard gun find linked to Connors' gang

A pump-ACTION shotgun which was found in a west Dublin graveyard may be linked to 'Fat' Andy Connors' burglary gang.

Connors (45) was buried in a €28,000 gold-plated coffin on Friday after he was shot in front of his wife Anne and some of his children at his home in Saggart, west Dublin, 13 days ago.

It has now emerged that gardai are investigating whether the discovery of the weapon at Bohernabreena Cemetery last Thursday is linked to the dangerous burglary gang which was led by Ireland's latest gangland murder victim.

shotgun

Tensions remain high in the Tallaght area after officers received reports that a close associate of 'Fat' Andy had been offering €75,000 to hitmen to avenge the traveller's brutal murder.

The shotgun was found at 4pm on Thursday in the graveyard by a cemetery groundsman who then called gardai who rushed to the scene from Tallaght Garda Station.

Investigations later established that the gun had been stolen in a house burglary in 2011. Sources say that the type of burglary that 'Fat' Andy's mob specialised in was very similar to the burglary in which the shotgun was stolen and that the gun had been left in the graveyard for collection later.

Gardai are exploring a number of theories in relation to the fatal shooting of the father-of-six who led a gang of traveller thugs.

Officers are probing whether he was killed by the INLA after he refused to pay their extortion demands but are also investi gating a dispute he was involved in with a high-profile south Dublin businessman.

A handgun used in 'Fat' Andy's murder was found in a burned-out Opel Insignia in a yard near Blessington Road, South Dublin, two days after the brutal slaying. The white car had been stolen in Carlow on July 14.

Connors was buried in Gorey on Friday evening after the large cortege that had attended his funeral mass in Saggart drove on back roads from Dublin to the north Wexford town.

Gardai are now on alert in case criminals decide to dig up his coffin and steal the gold from it.

At mass in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, parish priest Fr Enda Cunningham told the mourners that the Connors family wanted no retaliation for his death, or to see another family endure their pain.

children

Speaking in his homily, Fr Cunningham said: "How can we ever begin to understand how someone can callously shoot a father before the eyes of a helpless mother and children?"

The altar was adorned with many photographs of Connors, as well as an array of floral tributes formed into messages such as "the best daddy in the world" and "million dollar man".

The funeral was monitored by a large number of officers.

Before the mass members of the Connors family opened the ornate gold casket at the altar to say one last goodbye to him.

A spokesman for St Michael's Cemtery in Gorey has denied that Connors' grave is being monitored by anyone.

kfoy@herald.ie

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