Thursday 20 October 2016

Hitman's intended target misses court over 'death threats'

Martin O'Rourke.
Martin O'Rourke.
Keith Murtagh.
The scene where Martin O’Rourke was murdered. Picture; Damien Eagers

A Dublin man believed to have been the intended target of the gunman who mistakenly shot dead innocent victim Martin O'Rourke in the north inner city three months ago has failed to turn up to court due to threats on his life.

Keith Murtagh (31) was expected to appear before Blanchardstown District Court this week to face a number of road traffic charges.


Mr Murtagh, with an address at Mariner's Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, is closely linked to one of the gangs involved in the ongoing Hutch-Kinahan feud.

He is charged with driving without having a driving licence and providing a false name and address to gardai.

The alleged incident took place during a road traffic stop by gardai at Nangor Road in Clondalkin on April 4.

Defence lawyer Jennifer Jackson said Mr Murtagh was not before the court and said the accused has been warned that there are threats to his life.

Ms Jackson asked for the case to be adjourned for a number of weeks, and she asked that the adjourned date not be read out in open court due to safety fears for the accused.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case.

Mr Murtagh has not yet indicated a plea to the charges.

The case was previously before the courts in June, and Mr Murtagh also failed to appear on that date, again due to fears for his safety.

Murtagh is regarded as a key associate of Derek "Del Boy" Hutch, who is the brother of Gary Hutch and the nephew of Eddie Hutch, both of whom have been shot dead by the Kinahan gang as part of an ongoing feud.

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