herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Slain Nugent the key suspect in gangland hit

Darragh Nugent, who was killed on Monday night, was about to be charged over the murder of Gerard Eglington
Darragh Nugent, who was killed on Monday night, was about to be charged over the murder of Gerard Eglington

Gardai were preparing to charge a man who was shot dead in west Dublin this week with the 2012 murder of Gerard Eglington.

Father-of-three Darragh Nugent (36) was gunned down outside his home on Wheatfield Avenue, Clondalkin, on Monday night.

He was suspected of making threats against local rivals in recent days, just over six months after he was arrested by officers on his way to kill a senior member of their gang.

It has emerged that Nugent was suspected of playing a central role in the murder of Eglington (27), who was gunned down at his home in Kilnacourt Woods, Portarlington, Co Laois, in 2012 while his three-year-old son and 11-year-old stepdaughter looked on.

Botched

Nugent was arrested over the killing, which was linked to the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, and gardai were about to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the case.

"This man was a key suspect in the case and the file was almost concluded on him," a senior source said.

"Gardai were confident that he would be charged with the murder."

The Herald has learned that detectives found evidence linking Nugent to a car that was seized after the murder.

Gardai carried out pain- staking CCTV analysis which connected the car to the shooting.

Nugent was the best friend of gangland criminal James 'Nellie' Walsh (31), who is serving a 10-year jail sentence for firearms offences linked to a botched hit on major gangland target Michael Frazer in 2014.

Gardai have been investigating whether Nugent had been taking orders from Walsh, who embarked on a bitter feud almost four years ago that has led to three unsolved murders in the Clondalkin area.

The first murder was that of innocent Dean Johnson (21) in August 2013.

He was not involved in crime, and it quickly emerged that the intended target was Clondalkin hood Walsh.

Backed up by Nugent, Walsh became a player in the west Dublin crime scene around five years ago and ended up getting involved in a bitter dispute with a Clondalkin gang with close links to the Kinahan cartel.

As the dispute intensified, the gang tried to murder Walsh in the early hours of August 24, 2013 in Harelawn Green, Clondalkin.

Mr Johnson, who had been socialising earlier with the intended target, was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.

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