Man proposed to girlfriend night before his murder

A man shot dead in a gangland-style shooting proposed to his girlfriend the night before his murder.

Michael Devoy, aged 41, from Ballbutcher Drive, Poppintree, Ballymun, Dublin 15, sustained multiple gunshots to the head and neck and died on January 18, 2014. He had been released from Portlaoise Prison the previous day.

His sister, Antoinette Corbally, told an inquest into his death that she and their mother Nancy Devoy drove to Portlaois to collect Michael but they missed him and he took the train to Dublin. He called to his girlfriend Anita Riggs’ house in Ballymun. The pair went for a walk to the local park, where he asked her to marry him.

“I gave him a handwritten letter that I had written when he was in prison,” Ms Riggs said in her deposition.

“The day he got out of Portlaoise Prison he proposed to me. I took the ring, but we didn’t set a date.

“He wasn’t himself. He was worried that something was going to happen him. His eyes were sunk in his head like he hadn’t slept in days.”

She said he was a “very private person who knew a lot of people but trusted only a few”. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, she said, because gardaí told him there was a threat to his life.

Mr Devoy spent Friday and Saturday at his girlfriend’s house and with family but on Saturday night he asked for the loan of €5 to take a bus to town.

Around 10.30pm on Saturday, Det Insp Gary Corrigan was on patrol in the Bohernabreena Rd area and stopped to check on a car parked at a ditch next to a quarry entrance at Foxhill. He saw two men crouched behind the car with their faces covered and said to them “are you all right boys, it’s the gardaí”.

The men jumped into the car and sped off and the patrol car went in pursuit, turning back on to Borhernabreena Rd. After 1km, gardaí saw a body on the road. Det Insp Corrigan said he saw a man lying face up in a pool of blood with extensive injuries to his head and face, wearing gardening gloves. The body was still warm, Det Insp Corrigan said.

Mr Devoy was pronounced dead at the scene at 11.58pm. Deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said he found a total of 11 wounds to Mr Devoy’s head, neck and chest, with catastrophic injuries to the head and neck. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

Gardai carried out an extensive investigation, conducted over 200 interviews, took 78 statements and made a number of arrests but the DPP directed insufficient evidence to prosecute. The case remains open.

The jury at Dublin Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of unlawful killing by a person or persons unknown.


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