herald

Wednesday 28 June 2017

No charges brought over murder of dad blasted to death in front of partner

Benny was shot dead in 2014
Benny was shot dead in 2014

Gardai have not yet been able to obtain charges in the case of a 36-year-old man brutally murdered by one of the country's most dangerous gangs.

A full inquest into the death of Benny Whitehouse will now take place at Dublin Coroner's Court on March 15, 2017.

The father-of-two was shot dead in front of his partner at Clonard Street, Balbriggan, on September 25, 2014, as part of a bitter feud that has seen a number of violent incidents both before and since the murder.

Yesterday, Detective Inspector Eddie Carroll of Balbriggan Garda Station told coroner Dr Myra Cullinane that a file had been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and no prosecution was directed.

Whitehouse, of Ring Commons Halting Site in Balbriggan, died after the shooting, while his partner was also shot in the leg during the attack. Two people, one man and one woman, were arrested and questioned following the incident.

Targets

Gardai have been on high alert as they believe Benny's brothers Jimmy and Clifford Whitehouse will become the next targets of the mob suspected of the attack.

They have been previously warned about an active death threat against their lives and are understood to have been given fresh security advice from officers in Drogheda, Co Louth.

The gang suspected of killing Whitehouse is also believed to be behind the suspected murders of Tallaght man Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 14, last year.

One theory being investigated is that they were murdered because they were trying to break links with the dangerous Traveller gang they had been associated with in the months before their disappearance.

The couple made a desperate phone call pleading for help the day they disappeared.

Last month, the Herald revealed that the gang boss who is suspected of being behind all three of the murders was released from prison after spending almost a year behind bars.

Sources say the gang has been "re-grouping and re-organising" since his release and is now based at his large Co Meath compound.

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