herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Guinea Pig is chief suspect in gun killing

GARDAI today appealed for new information on the killing of a young man gunned down while watching TV. Gangland boss Mark Desmond, aka the Guinea Pig, is the main suspect in the brutal killing.

Crimestoppers have now offered a cash reward to help solve the gangland murder of Clondalkin man Damien Dowdall (22). He was gunned down in front of his terrified girlfriend as he sat on his couch in 2007. He was shot twice at close range with a shotgun and suffered horrific head injuries.

Desmond -- suspected of murdering two young men on the Grand Canal in 2000 -- is a suspect in the Dowdall case.

Gardai believe that Dowdall was assassinated over the seizure of €300,000 worth of cocaine in Co Kildare in the week before his death.

Desmond, known as the Guinea Pig, emerged as a suspect but charges have yet to be brought in the case.

The gardai and Crimestoppers have issued a fresh appeal for information in the aftermath of the four-year anniversary of his killing.

Dowdall was murdered in his girlfriend's house in the Lealand estate in Clondalkin on January 23, 2007, when two armed and masked men shot him in cold blood.

His death marked the beginning of a spate of gun killings in 2007.

Gardai initially thought that there was no evidence to suggest that he was involved in crime and said they could find no motive for his killing.

Gardai said Mr Dowdall, who worked as a printer, was clearly singled out for attack and at this stage they do not believe his killing was a case of mistaken identity.

But while he had no criminal convictions, it emerged that Dowdall was pals with a number of underworld figures in west Dublin.

Damien Dowdall was watching TV with his girlfriend, Debbie Quinn, at their home when two armed and masked men called to the house at Lealand Road, Clondalkin.

When Ms Quinn answered the door they pushed past her into the hallway.

They then ran into the sitting room, singled out Mr Dowdall and shot him twice at close range.

Both attackers fled the scene on foot towards nearby Deansrath Park, where officers believe they may have parked a getaway vehicle.

Superintendent John Quirke said last week that "we are very anxious to identify the person responsible for Damian's murder".

"Someone might have information that they think is insignificant which could actually be vital. If you have any information please contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 1800 25 00 25."

hnews@herald.ie

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