herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

I've seen the infamous Killing Field give up too many bodies

ONCE again we have seen the now infamous Finglas murder triangle grab the headlines, following the discovery of the body of young David Sharkey stuffed into the boot of his own car, which was then crashed and abandoned in St Joseph's Park, on Dunsink Lane.

Dunsink Lane falls within the area covered by the notorious murder triangle, known to locals as the 'Killing Field'.

The area I am referring to runs from Cappagh Cross along Ratoath Road, down to the Tolka Valley Road where it turns left and onto the Finglas Road near the old Premier Dairies. It continues up the Finglas Road, and up the sliproad onto Mellowes Road and back up Cappagh Road. The 'Killing Field' adjoins the area and covers Scribblestown Lane and the lands between Scribblestown and Dunsink Lane.

This area has seen more than its fair share of savagery and sadness, with at least a dozen murders in the area and estates adjoining it in the past 16 years. That's not including the attempted murders, shootings, bombings and tragic suicides during that period.



Lonely

Despite being so close to M50, and built-up residential areas, it can be a desolate, lonely place, particularly after dark.

Some of the deaths occurred in the 'Killing Field', while others took place in nearby areas. In almost all the cases, the perpetrators, and many of their victims, had used the 'Field' as their criminal 'offices', conducting business, settling scores, and storing drugs.

The area was also the scene of great unrest in October 2004, when Dunsink Lane was blocked off at both ends by Fingal County Co, to prevent fly dumping and other unsocial behaviour by some residents. There were violent scenes, which were eventually settled with the help of gardai and local representatives.

One of the first murders associated with the area in April 1993, when Michael Godfrey was abducted from his flat by Finglas criminals and taken to Scribblestown Lane, where he was killed.

Three years later the body of Mark Dwyer was found battered and shot in the fields of Scribblestown. Cotton Eye Joe Delaney was subsequently convicted of the brutal murder, amid allegations that the victim was tortured beforehand.

In January 1998 Eamon O'Reilly was gunned down in the nearby Rivermount bar in Finglas south. In October 2003 the body of Patrick 'Paudge' Sheridan was found in a copse, in a place ominously called the Trench, again off Scribblestown Lane. He had been shot twice in the head.

Patrick Sheridan was a local lad who had a drug habit and involved in petty crime. He witnessed notorious local thug Declan Curran getting a beating from another criminal, who Curran then shot on the same night. Curran suspected Patrick would talk so he was killed.

With fellow criminals John Daly and Anthony Spratt, Curran lured Patrick to Scribblestown Lane, where he was shot. His three assailants are also dead, such is the brutal shortness of the lives of those involved in organised crime.

In July 2003 the body of Victor Murphy was found dumped, with gunshot wounds to the head, on Dunsink Lane. It emerged that he had been a front seat passenger in a car driven by Declan Curran when a sawn-off shotgun accidentally discharged, as Curran hit a speed ramp at Cappagh Cross.

Curran drove to the Lane and dumped the body of his friend on the side of the road.

In March 2004, Liam McAllister, the nephew of Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, was lured to the Lane by John Daly. When he got off the motorcycle Daly shot in him the back, and then in the head. McAllister lost several fingers but survived by playing dead. It is rumoured that Daly paid a substantial sum of money to McAllister in compensation.

Along with the killings in the Murder Triangle many others occurred on the fringes. Lee Kinsella, Marlo Hyland, innocent Anthony Campbell, Kevin Ledwidge, thug John Daly, Derek Duffy, Trevor Walsh, Farmer Martin, were all murdered in the wider area.

I have not even touched on the shootings and bombings, the maimings and terror, that took place in and around the Killing Field over the years. The good decent people who resided in the area deserve better from their Government.

There is a development plan in place for the Killing Field and this must be enacted. Developing the land would hopefully eradicate the terrible history associated with it.

Brian Sherry is a former Detective Inspector who served in Finglas

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