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Fatal crash suspect threatened online by rival criminals

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Gardai at the scene where Jacqueline McGovern was knocled down and killed by a gang of raiders in an out-of-control car. Photo: Damien Storan

Gardai at the scene where Jacqueline McGovern was knocled down and killed by a gang of raiders in an out-of-control car. Photo: Damien Storan

Gardai at the scene where Jacqueline McGovern was knocled down and killed by a gang of raiders in an out-of-control car. Photo: Damien Storan

A man suspected of involvement in the armed robbery that led to the death of a 54-year-old special needs assistant has been targeted by his rivals in a social media hate campaign.

The posts contain sinister threats and abuse, including claims he is a killer.

Gardai have not yet arrested any of the three men seen drinking together in a south Dublin pub just minutes after mother Jacqueline McGovern (54) was killed when she was hit by an out-of-control car in Killiney, seconds after an armed robbery at a Centra store.

Gardai say that because of the "extreme gravity" of the case and the fact that suspects have been identified, there is "no rush in carrying out arrests".

Like all ongoing cases, the operation is being affected by considerations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but this is not believed to be a major factor in the investigation led by Dun Laoghaire detectives.

Violent

The Herald revealed yesterday that blood found in the gang's getaway car may prove crucial in cracking the case.

"Blood detected in the abandoned car is key," a senior source said.

"Gardai have a clear idea who was behind this crime. Now this vital DNA is crucial to proving it."

The three suspects involved in the crime are believed to be from the Ballybrack, Sallynoggin and Monkstown areas.

All aged in their early 20s, they are known to gardai for involvement in crime, including violent disorder.

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Tributes to Ms McGovern at the scene

Tributes to Ms McGovern at the scene

Tributes to Ms McGovern at the scene

Three men were in the speeding car after the Centra Barnhill Stores on Barnhill Road in Dalkey was robbed.

Two men armed with a knife held up staff on Tuesday night at 9.10pm.

The pair threatened the workers and made off with several thousand euro.

Ms McGovern and her friend and colleague Audrey Behan (51) were injured when the out-of-control getaway car hit them at 9.20pm on Tuesday at the junction of Ballinclea Road and Avondale Road in Killiney.

Prayed

They were out for a walk when they were hit by the car.

The women were rushed to St Vincent's Hospital, where Ms McGovern died.

Ms Behan's injuries are not believed to be serious, and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Ms McGovern was an SNA in the local Our Lady of Good Counsel Girls National School. Ms Behan is also an SNA there.

Both women were prayed for at mass in the parish, and the school's principal Caroline Quinn paid tribute to them.

Following the crash, the three raiders walked away.

However, detectives at Dun Laoghaire have now identified the pub near the scene of the crash where the suspects were seen.

Gardai have also obtained CCTV from the premises.

This is one line of inquiry being looked at by gardai to establish if these men were involved in the earlier robbery.

The Nissan Almera used by the gang was "mangled" following the crash.

The getaway vehicle has not been taxed or insured since last April.

Its last registered owner was interviewed extensively on Wednesday. He has told gardai he sold the car for a small sum.

His account has been accepted by gardai, who said the man is not involved in criminality.