herald

Saturday 14 December 2019

Man shot in the head in deadly double-cross as car torched

  • Suspected gangland victim had recently survived hit bid

  • Gardai believe he may have been lured to estate for meeting

The burnt-out wreckage of the car in which the man’s body was found is removed from scene
The burnt-out wreckage of the car in which the man’s body was found is removed from scene

Gardai are today hoping to confirm the identity of a suspected murder victim who they believe was shot in the head before the car he was sitting in was torched.

A major investigation is continuing into what detectives suspect was a gangland double-cross in a quiet estate in Lucan, west Dublin, on Monday night.

Emergency services were called to a car on fire in Mount Andrew Rise after 8pm, but when firefighters extinguished the blaze they discovered a body inside.

The victim's remains have not been conclusively identified. However, he is believed to be a man in his early 40s from the Lucan area who only recently survived an attempt on his life.

He was a very close associate of money launderer David Lynch (41), who was shot dead in nearby Foxdene in March and was also involved in the murder of his former friend Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond in the same area three years ago.

Threat

A post-mortem examination was due to be carried out last night, and Lucan gardai are expected to officially launch a murder investigation once that is completed.

A source told the Herald: "Gardai are sure they know who it is but have to wait for tests to be completed for a formal identification.

"The man has not been sighted since the incident and was under severe threat.

The identity won't be confirmed until Wednesday at the earliest.

"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."

Gardai investigate the scene on Mount Andrew Court, Lucan this morning, where the body of a man was discovered in a burning car last night
Gardai investigate the scene on Mount Andrew Court, Lucan this morning, where the body of a man was discovered in a burning car last night

Gardai have also appealed for information about the vehicle that was torched, a 05 Carlow- registered Toyota Corolla, which was sold only recently.

Fianna Fail councillor Shane Moynihan, a by-election candidate in Dublin Mid-West, condemned the suspected murder and said government inaction against violent drug crime had led to the situation getting out of hand.

"Families in Dublin Mid-West don't need yet another announcement by the Government promising an increase in garda numbers," he said.

"We must stop governing by press release and start getting these gardai on to the streets of Dublin Mid-West.

"My thoughts are with those who have been affected, in particular those in Mount Andrew who have to deal with the shock of what has happened on their doorsteps."

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.

Alarm

"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."

One local woman said: "This is a quiet area, but we sometimes see people arriving in cars and meeting other people and then driving away again. They're not people that live here."

The charred wreckage of the Toyota was covered by two garda tents to protect any evidence, and the body of the man was still inside the vehicle yesterday morning.

Members of the Garda Technical Bureau arrived at the scene at around 8.30am and began photographing the evidence and gathering forensic material under the tents while other officers carried out door-to-door enquiries locally.

Morgue

At 11.15am three fire tenders arrived at the scene, as well as a morgue ambulance.

Members of Dublin Fire Brigade could then be seen carrying cutting equipment to the tents covering the car.

The roof and doors were cut off to allow the body to be removed and transfer it to the morgue ambulance after extra tents were erected around the scene.

The body was removed from the scene just before 12.30pm and taken to the Office of the State Pathologist in Whitehall, where a post mortem was due to be carried out by locum State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers.

The wreckage of the car was then towed from the scene.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who may have information, including any road users who were in the area on Monday night and who may have dash cam footage available, to contact gardai at Lucan Garda Station on 01 666 7300 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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