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Grumpy Jacks assassin in fresh bid for freedom over 2009 gang murder

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Peter Kenny

Peter Kenny

Peter Kenny

A gangland killer who was the gunman in the murder of John 'Champagne' Carroll (33) over 11 years ago is to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court.

Legal appeal papers on behalf of convicted murderer Peter Kenny (38) of McCarthy's Terrace in Rialto have been submitted to Ireland's highest court. However, a date for the hearing has yet to be finalised.

Kenny was convicted in July 2011 after one of the most controversial gangland murder cases in Irish legal history, but has continued to maintain his innocence.

In February 2018, he was unsuccessful at the Court of Appeal which said it had not been persuaded that Kenny's trial was unsatisfactory or the verdict unsafe.

Scandalous

Kenny's lawyers claimed he could not get a fair trial due to the "scandalous" handling of a garda informer.

However, the DPP successfully argued that the case against Kenny largely came down to telephone traffic and his attendance at the place where the gun used in the murder was found in a car.

Major league drug dealer John Carroll was shot dead in Grumpy Jacks in The Coombe on February 18, 2009, in a targeted assassination.

Four men were charged with murdering Carroll, but only one - Kenny (29) from Rialto - was convicted of the horrific crime after the evidence of Joey O'Brien, who is now in the witness protection programme.

A drug dealer since he was 15, and a heavy gambler, O'Brien was arrested trying to leave Ireland.

After admitting to sourcing the motorbike used in the killing and relaying information back and forth, he turned State witness.

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John ‘Champagne’ Carroll (pictured) was murdered by Peter Kenny

John ‘Champagne’ Carroll (pictured) was murdered by Peter Kenny

John ‘Champagne’ Carroll (pictured) was murdered by Peter Kenny

O'Brien was accepted into the Witness Security Programme and granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against the defendants.

One of the four defendants who was cleared of the murder, gang boss Christopher Zambra, was alleged to have been the main organiser of the plot.

Zambra was 39 when he was shot dead in Drimnagh as part of a separate feud in May 2014.

When Kenny was convicted after a six-week trial at the Central Criminal Court in July 2011, he smirked as he was handed down the mandatory life sentence.

One pf the main theories in the investigation was that Carroll was murdered because he had a fling with a woman who was previously in a relationship with a gangster.

It emerged that in the months before Carroll was shot dead, he was subjected to death threats from the gangster.

Paranoid

Carroll, who was linked to a number of the city's major drug dealers, was so paranoid about the threats that he stayed in hotels in the weeks before he was shot dead in the south inner city pub.

On the night he was killed, John Carroll had with him a check list of drug debtors and creditors who owed him €243,000.

He was killed after a heavily disguised Kenny fired a number of shots from a semi-automatic weapon as he chased him.

Just months after Kenny - who has 34 previous convictions - was found guilty of murder, he was handed a three-and-a half-year jail sentence for an unprovoked assault on a young student a month before he shot Carroll dead.