herald

Saturday 14 December 2019

Drug dealer linked to 'Guinea Pig' murder is man found in blaze car

Gardai investigating the scene in Lucan, where the body of Wayne Whelan was found in a burning car. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins Dublin
Gardai investigating the scene in Lucan, where the body of Wayne Whelan was found in a burning car. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins Dublin

A 42-year-old criminal from west Dublin is believed to be the country's latest murder victim.

Gardai were last night expecting DNA tests to confirm that Wayne Whelan, originally from Clondalkin, is the man who was shot in the head before his body was left in a burning car in Lucan this week.

Because of the fire, investigators had to take DNA to positively identify the remains.

Whelan, who had been living in the Lucan area for some time, was aware his life was under threat and had survived a murder attempt earlier this year. He was involved in the drugs trade and had links to a number of major criminals based in Clondalkin.

Trusted

Detectives are investigating a link between Monday night's murder and that of two associates of Wayne Whelan.

In March, money launderer David 'Chen' Lynch (40) was shot dead outside his home in Clondalkin. He was a close associate of Whelan and was a groomsman at his wedding.

A third murder, the shooting of Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond in December 2016, is also being looked at as a motive for this week's killing.

Whelan was an associate of Desmond but the two men fell out and Whelan was later questioned in relation to that killing.

Sources said Whelan, and possibly David Lynch, being murdered in retaliation for Desmond's murder could not be ruled out.

Gardai believe Whelan was lured to his death by somebody he trusted before being shot in the passenger seat of the car.

Wayne Whelan after a recent murder attempt
Wayne Whelan after a recent murder attempt

He suffered a gunshot wound to the head. The firearm used has not yet been recovered.

Yesterday, Supt Paul Dolan appealed for information about the car Whelan was killed in.

"The car itself was a navy Toyota car, registration number 05-CW-2225. This vehicle was sold on the 13th of November. Today I'm appealing for any person who has seen this car, or knows of its whereabouts between then and now, to contact gardai," he said.

"I'm appealing to any person in Mount Andrew estate who has seen this vehicle, or has seen anything suspicious in and around the time of this incident on Monday night, the 18th. This was the night of the Ireland v Denmark soccer match."

Earlier this week a source told the Herald the victim had not been seen since the attempt on his life. "The man has not been sighted since the incident and was under severe threat.

"Early indications are that he was sitting in the vehicle when he was shot dead and may have been meeting someone he trusted before he was double-crossed," the source said.

Mark ‘The Guinea Pig’ Desmond
Mark ‘The Guinea Pig’ Desmond

One neighbour in the Mount Andrew estate told the Herald that he first heard a car horn beeping for a few minutes, and when he looked out he saw a vehicle on the roadway close to where the Toyota was later found to be on fire.

"Thinking back, it was like the driver was beeping the horn trying to draw attention to the fact that the parked car was on fire and they wanted to raise the alarm," he said. "Then a few minutes later I looked out the back and I could see the flames from the burning car."

Another local said they saw a taxi parked close to the scene, adding that the driver seemed to be sounding the horn to raise the alarm.

"Our car was parked close to the burning one, so we ran over and moved it," they said.

"We saw the other car in a ball of flames. It's terrible."

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