Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Real IRA boss held over gang murder

Gardai at the scene on Furry Park Road, Dublin, where Eamon Kelly was shot dead

A Real IRA boss is in custody over the murder of one of Ireland's most notorious criminals.

Eamon Kelly was gunned down close to his home in north Dublin in the latest gangland-style hit in the capital.

The 65-year-old career criminal - who is the 15th gun murder of the year - previously escaped an attempt on his life in 2010 when his attacker's gun jammed.

A motive for the latest shooting, on Furry Park Road in Killester, will focus on a possible link to a bloody dispute with the Real IRA in north Dublin.

The leader of the terror faction, Alan Ryan, was murdered in September in a daylight gun attack. He had been embroiled in extortion and racketeering and demanding money from drugs gangs in the city. A suspect arrested by unarmed gardai near the scene was a close associate of Ryan and is considered one of the Real IRA's most senior operators in Dublin.

The 32-year-old from south Dublin was previously jailed for Real IRA membership and his gang is suspected of being involved in a spate of shootings and pipebomb attacks. He is being quizzed by gardai in Clontarf.

Kelly was shot several times in broad daylight at about 4pm and found seriously injured on a footpath. He was rushed to Beaumont hospital, where he died. A post mortem will be carried out tomorrow as forensic officers continue their examination of the scene.

Dubbed the Godfather, Kelly was jailed for 14 years in the 1990s for possession of a kilo (2.2lb) of cocaine and was sentenced for assaulting a Workers Party member in the late 1980s.

In recent years he has been portrayed as a close associate and confidant of ruthless gang leader and drugs boss Eamonn "The Don" Dunne, who was shot dead in a pub in Cabra, north Dublin, in 2010. But the father-of-nine is said to have cut his teeth as an armed robber working with the Official IRA in the 1980s, raising money for the paramilitary group.

Gardai have appealed for any witnesses on Furry Park Road between 2pm and 4.30pm or who noticed a specific car in the area to come forward. The black Lexus car, 96 D 27994, was found partially burnt out at Stiles Court, Clontarf, a cul de sac at the rear of Clontarf Cricket/Rugby Club.

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