'He was loved by us all,' says family after inquest finds man who had been shot was pulled from burning car

A jury has returned a verdict in the case of a 37-year-old man shot dead in Finglas more than 10 years ago.

Derek Duffy sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head in the early hours of September 23, 2007.

He had been out socialising with friends in Dublin city centre and later returned to his apartment in Smithfield with an associate to collect his black Audi car.

The pair then made their way to Finglas. Dublin Fire Brigade received an emergency call to Casement Park in Finglas at 3.49am.

“The car was on fire and there was a man who had sustained gunshots wounds on the footpath. The passenger door was open. There were four or five people in the vicinity,” fireman Aidan Conway said.

Detective Sergeant Gavin Ross said a resident of Casement Park had observed Mr Duffy in the car as it was burning and pulled him out from the passenger side.

“He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.30am. The scene was preserved for a technical examination and Mr Duffy was removed to the morgue where his brother Christopher Duffy formally identified him,” Det. Sgt Ross told Dublin Coroner's Court.

The cause of death was laceration to the brain and intracranial haemorrhage due to bullet wounds to the head. The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that the man had visited siblings at 5pm the evening before his killing.

“I can’t think of any reason anyone would harm Derek,” Raymond Duffy, brother of the deceased, said in a deposition.

No one had a bad word to say about him.

The man’s sister Maureen Duffy said her brother always kept in touch with the family after moving out of the family home. “He was loved by us all,” she said in her deposition.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane offered her sympathies to the family.

“Obviously this was a terrible tragedy that befell your family, some years have passed but still this must be very difficult for you,” the coroner said.

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