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Monday 18 March 2019

Thug who helped cartel guman to shoot 'Duck Egg' is jailed for 10 years

Jason Keating played a ‘significant role’ in the murder
Jason Keating played a ‘significant role’ in the murder

A Kinahan cartel thug who helped a "sinister and ruthless" criminal organisation carry out the "execution-style murder" of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan has been jailed for 10 years by the Special Criminal Court.

Speaking outside court, Detective Superintendent Sean Campbell said the case showed how an ordinary man with no links to organised crime could be targeted by those involved in Dublin's "organised feud" and "executed" in front of his family.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the "most disturbing" aspect of the case was that Mr Kirwan was shot while sitting next to his partner Bernadette Roe and that either she had a "lucky escape" or the gunman was "highly efficient".

Disturbing

He also called it "disturbing" that Mr Kirwan had apparently been shot for no reason other than the fact that he had been pictured in the company of his childhood friend Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

Jason Keating played a role of "real significance" in the murder.

He was present at the scene of the shooting, was in contact with the person who monitored movements recorded by a tracking device and provided this information via a phone to the assailant who approached Mr Kirwan's car and discharged the firearm, the court had heard.

A Gotek7 tracking device was put under Mr Kirwan's car in the weeks leading up to his killing and this could be linked to Keating in the days preceding the murder.

Mr Kirwan was sitting in his new Ford Mondeo on December 22, 2016, when a man shot him six times with a Makarov handgun, the three-judge court heard.

The 62-year-old, a "long-time" friend of Gerry Hutch, suffered eight gunshot wounds to his head, right arm, chest and abdomen.

Keating (27), of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin, had admitted participating in or contributing to activity intending to facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Kirwan at St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, between December 20 and 22, 2016.

Murder victim Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan
Murder victim Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan

Keating was originally tried for the murder of Mr Kirwan but midway through his trial he pleaded guilty to facilitating a criminal organisation in committing murder and this plea was accepted by the DPP.

Passing sentence yesterday, Mr Justice Hunt said the criminal organisation had engaged in long-range planning to bring about Mr Kirwan's death and had used modern technology.

An aggravating factor was that Keating had participated in this "barbaric"organisation.

The fact Mr Kirwan had changed his car was an "unexpected contingency" but the criminal organisation had dealt with that in a "considered and determined fashion".

The judge said Mr Kirwan's daughter Donna's victim impact statement was an eloquent testimony to the irreversible damage brought about by Keating and others involved in the criminal organisation.

Speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice, Det Supt Campbell said the evidence had shown that Keating was "part of an organised feud going on" in Dublin city.

Questioning

"Mr Kirwan was selected because he was an easy target, he was vulnerable, going about his daily business, looking forward to Christmas," he said.

A senior cartel member based in Dubai is wanted for questioning over the murder of Mr Kirwan.

A European arrest warrant is not in existence for the 32-year-old Crumlin hood but sources said he would be "arrested on sight" if he returned to Ireland.

The gangster is a major target for the Criminal Assets Bureau and was in Ireland when the murder was carried out.

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