Wednesday 26 October 2016

Joseph Rafferty was gunned down in cold-blooded hit

Victim Joseph Rafferty
Victim Joseph Rafferty

Joseph Rafferty was 29 when he was shot dead by a lone gunman outside his home in the Hayward apartment complex in Ongar Park, west Dublin, on April 12, 2005.

The father-of-one had grown up in Grand Canal Street in the south inner city, and in the months before his murder had become embroiled in a dispute with a family from there.

In October 2004, there was a row at a function in a south inner city hotel bar and Joseph was told he was "going to get it from the RA".

A family member's car was burnt with acid and the windows broken.

Other family members, including his 66-year-old mother, were threatened.

Detectives investigating the case believe the killer watched Joseph for two weeks before he dressed as a building worker, drew a sawn-off shotgun and shot him once in the leg and then at point-blank range in the chest.

An eyewitness identified the killer as he walked away from the scene.

Detectives investigating the case know the gunman to be associated with Sinn Fein and the IRA, and Joseph's family knew the identity of the man who had threatened to kill him before he was murdered.


Joseph's killing came three months after the IRA murdered Belfast father-of-one Robert McCartney, also an innocent man who was killed as a result of a row with local IRA figures who worked for Sinn Fein.

It also bore similarities to the murder of 21-year-old Paul Quinn, from south Armagh, who was caught up in a dispute with 'republicans' who beat him to death with iron bars in October 2007.

In all three cases a wall of silence was erected around the killers, and the PSNI and gardai were unable to secure any witness testimony to support prosecutions.

Following his death, Joseph's sister, Esther Uzell, revealed that the family had approached Sinn Fein via local coun- cillor Daithi Doolan on three occasions with requests that he intervene to try to have the threat to her brother's life lifted.

Mr Doolan subsequently lost his council seat and moved from the Dublin South East ward and has since been re-elected as a party councillor in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area.

He has said he fully co-operated with the investigation and urged anyone with any information on the killing to come forward.

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