Tuesday 19 March 2019

Detective fired just one shot at deranged knife-wielding killer Hennessy

The scene in Cherrywood where Mark Hennessy was shot. Pic: PA
The scene in Cherrywood where Mark Hennessy was shot. Pic: PA

A detective who shot knife-wielding killer Mark Hennessy only fired his official gun once, the Herald can reveal.

Hennessy was shot dead by a highly respected south Dublin based officer after he threatened an unarmed traffic garda in Cherrywood Business Park.

Final details about the killer can be revealed today.

"The entry of the single bullet was between Hennessy's scapula and shoulder blade - the bullet then ricocheted from there, puncturing a major organ.

"Blood spilled out of his mouth and he died, pretty much instantly, despite efforts to save him carried out by a member of the Civil Defence until emergency services arrived at the scene," a source said.

The killing of Hennessy is the subject of an investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman (Gsoc), but senior sources say the actions of the south Dublin officer were "completely appropriate and justified".

A handgun was used to take Hennessy down because the detective made a split-second decision the deranged killer might attack his unarmed colleague in the business estate.

Members of the civil defence had earlier blocked Hennessy's car in after they spent hours searching for his tragic victim Jastine Valdez (24).

Hennessy had slit his own wrist and was attempting to slit his throat when gardai arrived at the scene.


It is also believed Hennessy "bent into the footwell" of the passenger side of his Nissan Qashqai in what was believed to be an effort to retrieve a potential weapon seconds before he was shot dead.

The experienced detective, who is originally from Wexford, has been described as a highly respected officer who has never faced any disciplinary issues.

It can also be revealed that Mark Hennessy appeared in court just last Monday to face a number of charges relating to drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

This related to an incident in Bray in September of last year, when he crashed into another motorist. He would have been due to re-appear in Bray district court again on June 11 in relation to the matter.

The father-of-two, who only had a second child last September, was not known to gardai in recent years for any serious criminal behaviour.

However, he had three previous convictions dating back to his early 20s.

In 1999, he was convicted of drugs possession after being found with IR£100 worth of Cannabis in St Stephen's Green. In September 2000, he was charged with a public order offence in Rathmines, Dublin.

During that incident he headbutted a punter at a pub. He was later convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour as well as being drunk and disorderly, and was fined €250.

The remains of Jastine Valdez were found at around 3.30pm on Monday following a massive search in the Rathmichael area of south Dublin.

Members of the Garda divisional search team, assisted by 60 troops from the Defence Forces, carried out a significant operation along the Puck's Castle Lane and nearby golf course in an attempt to find Ms Valdez.

Hennessy's background is now the subject of a major Garda investigation.

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