herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

Man and woman quizzed over fatal city shooting of 'gentleman' grandad (50)

Gardai sealed off several properties as part of the inquiry
Gardai sealed off several properties as part of the inquiry

A 39-year-old woman and a man (35) remained in custody last night for questioning over a fatal shooting in Dublin.

The pair, well-known to gardai, continued to be quizzed today at separate garda stations in the north of the city about the death of Gary O'Brien on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, officers searched three different properties on the North Circular Road in an attempt to find the handgun used to kill Mr O'Brien.

The 50-year-old was shot once in the forehead in a basement flat on Dublin's North Circular Road at approximately 8.30pm on Sunday.

The grandfather, who was originally from Barry Avenue in Finglas, had been living in the flat for around eight years.

Both suspects, who were arrested late on Monday night and early yesterday morning, are understood to have issues with drugs and alcohol.

The woman has been living in the capital's south inner city and is known to gardai for offences such as theft, burglary, assault and handling stolen property.

Blood

The male suspect had been living close to where Sunday night's shooting happened. He is known to gardai for robbery, drugs and public order offences.

It is understood that the man and woman were both known to Mr O'Brien.

They are being detained at the Bridewell and Store Street Garda Stations and can be held for up to a week.

Gardai have not yet fully determined what took place in the flat but they believe that alcohol and drugs had been taken by a number of people at the location when the fatal shooting happened.

Officers believe that the two people in custody were present in the room when Mr O'Brien was shot and both left with blood-stained clothing.

"Investigations so far indicate that foul play did occur in that flat," a source said last night.

"However, what exactly happened has yet to be determined. This was originally considered to be a self-harm incident," the source added.

The property has been sealed off for technical examination and evidence of drug-taking and other substance abuse has been found there.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Superintendent Ann Markey confirmed the probe has now become one of suspected murder.

She appealed to locals or anyone passing through the area on Sunday night to contact gardai with any information.

Sealed

"We are asking if they have seen anything suspicious, or any activity they found unusual, between the hours of 8pm on the 19th - that's Sunday night - and 6am on Monday morning," Supt Markey said.

"There may be evidence that has been discarded or disposed of in the vicinity," she added.

Apart from the flat where Mr O'Brien was shot, another derelict, apparently vacant, property has also been sealed off for examination and gardai believe people using that property may have known the dead man and may have been in his flat.

A third house in the area was also searched yesterday by gardai looking for the weapon.

Mr O'Brien was known to gardai for minor offences but was not considered a criminal.

He was known to have difficulty walking and regularly used a wheelchair.

One man who carried out some work at his flat described him as a "gentleman".

The house where he was killed was split into more than 20 flats.

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