Dealer’s killer may have fled on Luas

Gardaí are checking Luas cameras for a tall man wearing a tracksuit in connection with a gangland murder of a street drug dealer yesterday morning.

The suspect was last seen walking in the direction of a Luas stop and may have even got on board a passing tram to make his escape.

Detectives are hoping they can glean forensic evidence from a partially burned getaway car used by the killer, which was abandoned nearby. A gun, believed to be the murder weapon, was found inside.

Michael Kelly, 27, was gunned down on a pathway in the Rialto area of Dublin’s south inner city at around 10.30am.

Gardaí are appealing to passengers who were either on the Luas, which runs parallel to the crime scene, or at the nearby stops at the time to contact them.

Sources said Kelly, from the Maltings area, was a “low-level drug dealer”, who was not known to be involved in serious crime.

“He’s very small-time,” said one source. “That was his location, where he was shot, so he was an easy target.

“I doubt someone owed him money. He might have crossed someone, either because he owed them or for some personal reason.”

Detectives suspect the killer used a footpath linking the walkway into the New Ireland housing estate, where he had a car waiting.

He or an accomplice then drove to nearby Rialto Court, where the car was abandoned and set on fire.

An eyewitness told gardaí they saw a tall man wearing a tracksuit walking away from the car onto St James’s Walk, towards the Fatima Luas stop. Garda sources said that, from there, he could have gone down Basin St or into St James’s Hospital or towards the Maryland estate. Gardaí are also investigating the possibility that the killer might have got on a tram at the Fatima stop.

Kelly’s body remained at the scene, pending the arrival of Michael Curtis, the deputy state pathologist, before being removed for an autopsy.

The shooting took place on a walkway through a narrow green area which runs parallel to the Luas Red Line, just past Grand Canal View apartments.

One woman on the Luas passing a short time after the shooting said: “We had just left Suir Road stop and I was watching the children playing GAA at the [Good Counsel] summer camp, which is just across the road. At Suir Bridge, there were loads of Garda cars and ambulances, parked up at gates into the apartments. We crossed over the bridge and there was a woman screaming her head off and being consoled by a man.

“A hundred yards or so down the path, there was a young man lying on the ground and the paramedics were standing over him. He was facing up, seemed to be wearing blue shorts and in his 20s. It was really surreal. People were very shocked wondering what’s going on.”

* Anyone with information can contact gardaí in Kilmainham on 01-6669700 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.


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