Gardaí probe drug debt link to gangland murder

Gardaí are investigating drug dealers who may have been involved in the gangland murder of a man who owed them money.

Darren Kearns, 34, was shot dead as he sat in a car with his wife on Wednesday evening after enjoying a meal in a local restaurant in north Dublin city.

The Cabra man was shot at least five times, but his wife miraculously escaped serious injury or death in the “indiscriminate” shooting.

The attack took place in the car par of Comiskey’s Pub on the Navan Rd. The couple had just finished a meal in the Phoenix Chinese restaurant, located above the bar.

Mr Kearns had been released from jail earlier in the year after serving a six-year term in relation to a €1.8m cannabis haul in 2010.

The court had heard that Mr Kearns was spending €1,000 a day on cocaine.

He told gardaí he had been forced to transport the drugs to reduce a debt he had by €2,000.

The court was told he owed some €180,000 to the drugs gang. Mr Kearns had no other serious convictions at the time.

Detectives are examining possible links to the drug debt and are tracing the movements of dealers involved in that gang. The loss of €1.8m of cannabis would have hung over Mr Kearns since his release and his bosses would expect him to pay that back despite his prison term.

Gardaí will also probe any links to an attempted gangland murder in Cabra last November.

Anyone with information is asked to ring Cabra Garda Station on 01 6667400.


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