Gardai intercept gang suspected of targeting homes in community bereaved by road deaths

Gardai intercept gang suspected of targeting homes in community bereaved by road deaths
The large crowd at Oisin Cahill's funeral

By Gordon Deegan

A suspected criminal gang of heartless burglars targeting the homes of people mourning the deaths of teen road crash victims, Oisín Cahill and Darragh Killeen was intercepted by Gardai last week.

The two cousins died in a single vehicle road crash outside Ennis in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning and huge crowds attended the removals and funeral masses of both Oisín (18) and Darragh (19) in the Kilmaley-Inch communities last week.

The removal of Oisín’s remains took place last Wednesday night in Kilmaley village and Chief Supt John Kerin told members of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) in Ennis today that Gardai patrolling the area on the night intercepted a car carrying a suspected criminal gang from outside Co Clare.

He said: “I have no doubt that it was a criminal gang that we encountered in the Kilmaley area. We are delighted we have been able to thwart those people.”

Chief Supt Kerin revealed that Gardaí had three unmarked patrol cars in the area protecting homes that were vacant for long periods during the removals and funeral masses from burglaries.

He said: “We were keeping an eye on the homes of people attending the funerals and not just the families themselves but families from the wider area because unfortunately, we were conscious that there are criminals who do target houses during funerals when such a tragedy receives national attention.”

Chief Supt Kerin said that around 8.30pm last Wednesday night, Gardai in the area stopped “a strange car with four or five people in it”.

“Ninety nine per cent of people can give legitimate reasons for being in an area but these people couldn’t give any legitimate grounds for being in that area - or even being in Co Clare at that time of night."

Chief Supt Kerin said: “We can never prove that they came to Clare to commit burglaries but there was no justification for them being in the area they were and they were very active criminals.”

Chief Supt Kerin said Garda computer checks on the night found that that one of the gang was on bail for burglary and other offence and had to be at his home by 11pm that night to abide by the conditions of his bail.

He said: "That person was warned to be back at his home for 11pm otherwise the case would be brought back before the courts for a breach of bail."

Chef Supt Kerin said: “We were delighted that the Gardai out and about got rid of those people out of the county before any crime was committed.”

Chief Supt Kerin remarked that “it is awful to think that people will do this to people living in country areas at times of tragedy. That is just the way they are - they are criminals”.

He said that it is a sad aspect of life that there are criminal elements out there who think ‘this is an area worth targeting’ after tragedy has struck.

More on this topic

Gardaí investigating burglary at Co Clare service stationGardaí investigating burglary at Co Clare service station

'We have nowhere to go' - Deansrath Family Centre shut after truck rams into front door'We have nowhere to go' - Deansrath Family Centre shut after truck rams into front door

Man arrested after six-week-old baby injured in MeathMan arrested after six-week-old baby injured in Meath

Charlie Flanagan: Gardaí and PSNI working 'at historically close levels'Charlie Flanagan: Gardaí and PSNI working 'at historically close levels'


More in this Section

Justice Minister: 'Direct Provision is a guarantee of safety... there is no restriction on freedom'Justice Minister: 'Direct Provision is a guarantee of safety... there is no restriction on freedom'

Doors to reopen at school after legal fight over structural defectsDoors to reopen at school after legal fight over structural defects

Court hears murder accused asked to see garda in prison and then admitted stabbing musician  Court hears murder accused asked to see garda in prison and then admitted stabbing musician

Petition to save Ireland's largest nursing home for dementia patients handed to DáilPetition to save Ireland's largest nursing home for dementia patients handed to Dáil


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner