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Security fear as shooter suspect set to return on military aircraft


Gardai outside the shop where ‘Daithi’ Douglas was shot dead

Gardai outside the shop where ‘Daithi’ Douglas was shot dead

Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Gardai outside the shop where ‘Daithi’ Douglas was shot dead

A 31-year-old Dublin man due to be charged with the 2016 feud-related murder of David 'Daithi' Douglas is expected to be flown to Ireland today on an Air Corps aircraft.

A risk assessment carried out by gardai deemed it would be "unsafe" for Lee Canavan to travel from London to Dublin on a commercial plane.

Instead, detectives from the garda Extradition Unit will travel to arrest Mr Canavan at an RAF airbase and travel back with him on the military plane, which is due to land at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel this evening.

It is expected he will then be arrested and taken to Kevin Street Garda Station ahead of a planned court appearance.


Mr Canavan is the suspected gunman in the gruesome Douglas murder case and has been in custody in England since his arrest on foot of a European Arrest Warrant in January.

"Because this man is due to be charged with a murder which is part of a feud that has claimed 18 lives, it was deemed that it was not suitable for him to be put on a commercial flight," a senior source said last night.

"It was deemed to be too much of a risk to himself and other passengers, so that is why he is being brought back to Ireland on a military aircraft.

"A major armed garda operation will be put in place at Baldonnel for his arrival."

Mr Canavan's extradition to Ireland was ordered last week at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Catherine Brown, on behalf of the Irish Government, said: "It's an accusation of murder with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and an accusation of criminal damage with a maximum sentence of 10 years.

"It is said that 'Daithi' Douglas was standing at the door of his wife's shop when he was approached by a lone gunman who fired three shots at him. He fell back into the shop.

"The requested persons proceeded to fire four shots into his head and body as he lay on the floor. A total of seven shots were fired.

"His daughter was in the back of the shop at the time of the shooting.

"He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead at 4.55pm.

"The criminal damage occurred when a Mercedes vehicle, which was previously stolen in June 2016 from a property in Dublin, was used as the getaway vehicle for the alleged murder.

"The requested person is seen exiting that vehicle along with another person."

Mr Canavan had previously resisted extradition after claiming "overcrowding conditions" in Irish prisons.

Mr Douglas (55) was murdered as part of the Hutch- Kinahan feud on July 1, 2016.

In August 2018, senior cartel figure 'Fat' Freddie Thompson received a life sentence at the non-jury Special Criminal Court for murder.

His DNA was found in two "spotter" cars used in the shooting, and detectives also identified him in CCTV footage as the driver of one of the vehicles.

In January last year, Nathan Foley (21), of Rosary Road, Maryland, was given a six-year sentence for driving one of the cars used in planning the murder and involvement in setting the getaway cars on fire.

Last February, Gareth Brophy (25), of Reuben Walk, the getaway driver of the car used in the murder, received 10 years.