herald

Sunday 21 January 2018

Hitman quizzed over shots that killed Shane

THE DUBLIN-based hitman suspected of murdering rugby player Shane Geoghegan is still in garda custody with 13 other people.

The man, in his 20s, was arrested in Limerick yesterday after a major garda operation which also led to the arrest of six other men, and seven women. One of the women, also in her 20s, was arrested in Coolock, north Dublin.

The Dublin man arrested is well known to gardai in the capital and was an associate of Paddy Doyle, who himself worked as an enforcer for the south Dublin crime gang led by criminal 'Fat' Freddie Thompson. Paddy Doyle was murdered in Spain last year.

The arrested Dubliner is believed to have fired the shots that killed Geoghegan early on November 9 last, after a senior member of the McCarthy-Dundon crime gang wrongly identified the innocent rugby player as a rival gangster.

Both the Dubliner and the senior gang member fled the country after the killing, but the Dubliner returned home while the other man has remained in London, where he has a large number of family contacts. Friends and family members from Limerick visited him over Christmas.



Amsterdam

This senior figure has also travelled to Amsterdam, it is believed.

A second gang associate joined him in London in recent weeks, as gardai put major pressure on the gang's operations in Limerick. Both men are in their 20s and have numerous criminal convictions.

He was one of 14 people being interviewed yesterday. Those arrested are being held at garda stations across Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Dublin. Some of those arrested are being interviewed on suspicion of withholding information. They are aged from their late teens to their 40s.

The operation was meticulously planned by more than 70 gardai, including armed officers, the Regional Support Unit, members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and organised crime units.

Twelve were arrested in Limerick city, with one woman picked up in the Coolock area of Dublin and another man in the Bansha area of Tipperary.

Geoghegan was shot dead by members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang who mistook him for a rival member of the Collopy gang.

The Garryowen rugby player ran for his life, but was gunned down near his home in Kilteragh, Dooradoyle.

In total, 16 people have now been arrested as investigations continue into the Geoghegan murder. Previously, two men were arrested in Limerick and in Clondalkin, Dublin on January 29 last.

Follow up searches have continued in the Weston, Watergate Flats and Thomondgate areas of Limerick city. Heroin and drugs paraphernalia were also recovered in Tipperary.

hnews@herald.ie

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