Belfast Telegraph

Two held over teenager's gun death

Two men have been arrested over the murder of a 16-year-old girl shot dead in a drive-by killing.

Melanie McCarthy, who also used the surname McNamara, became the youngest victim of gang feuding when she was gunned down in Tallaght, south Dublin, on February 7.

A man in his early 20s and another in his late teens were arrested by detectives in Athy, Co Kildare.

The arrest operation involved officers from Tallaght, detectives in the National Bureau Of Criminal Investigation and local gardai from Kildare.

The suspects were detained in Tallaght Garda Station under laws designed to crack down on gangs and organised crime, Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Melanie's body has been returned to her family and a funeral is expected to take place in north London, where she spent several years growing up, in the coming days. Melanie was from a Traveller family and had lived in Limerick, the English capital and more recently in Tallaght.

Her killing has been blamed on an indiscriminate attack linked to a feud involving local groups with links to the Travelling community and disputes over drugs.

She was murdered when a gunman opened fire with a shotgun as she sat in the back seat of a car. She had been in a car with her boyfriend and two others, one of whom was believed to have been the intended target.

A shotgun, believed to be the murder weapon, was recovered close to where the getaway car was abandoned in the Citywest area of Dublin, near Brown's Barn restaurant, minutes after the killing. Clothes were also left behind by the killers, which detectives believe holds a huge amount of DNA evidence.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Travellers' support groups have appealed for calm and no retaliation over the killing.

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