herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Two suspects quizzed over gangland gun murder

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Stock picture

Gardai investigating the gangland murder of a 36-year-old criminal who was shot in June have arrested two men in Dublin and Louth.

The bullet-riddled body of Neil Fitzgerald, originally from the South Circular Road area, was found by a passing motorist at Hills Lane, Crooksling, off the N81 road between Tallaght and Blessington at around 9am on June 5.

The male suspects, aged 29 and 52, were being questioned at Tallaght Garda Station last night. Gardai have disclosed that there have now been six arrests in the investigation.

Killer

Fitzgerald was a key member of the gang linked to jailed killer Brian Rattigan and sources have revealed that his associates are "determined" to avenge his death. The chief suspect in the murder case has previously been arrested by Tallaght gardai and questioned being released without charge.

The Herald previously revealed that detectives were involved in a frantic manhunt for the suspect after receiving information that he had been abducted and shot, but he later showed up alive and well.

The thug remains under "serious threat" and has been warned about an active risk to his life. He was not one of the duo arrested yesterday. He is also a suspect in the attempted gun murder of convicted drug dealer Jason Kearns (30) in Crumlin in August, but there have been no arrests in that case so far.

The Herald also previously revealed Fitzgerald was involved in a violent altercation with associates of key Christy Kinahan cartel members just weeks before he was shot dead.

However, his murder is not being linked to the Kinahan/Hutch feud. Fitzgerald had served a 10-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to possession of a semi-automatic pistol, ammunition and producing a firearm while resisting arrest at Dolphin's Barn on July 23, 2008.

He also pleaded guilty to driving a stolen car and five counts of dangerous driving on July 18, 2008.

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