A local Real IRA boss was being questioned last night in relation to yesterday’s gangland murder of veteran republican and criminal Eamon Kelly.
Kelly, 65, from Furry Park Road, Killester, was gunned down near his home around 4pm.
Kelly, a senior figure in criminal and republican circles, escaped a previous assassination attempt outside his home in Sept 2010. That attack, thought to have been carried out on the orders of murdered Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, was botched after the gun jammed.
Kelly, a convicted drug dealer, was shot at least three times to the chest yesterday.
There were reports that people were on the street and may have witnessed the shooting.
A 999 call was made and Kelly was taken to Beaumont Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A Garda patrol, which happened to be in the area, was alerted and it spotted a blue car with two male occupants. It followed the car towards Howth Road and onto Stiles Road in nearby Clontarf. The two occupants abandoned the car and tried to escape on foot. An unarmed, uniformed garda managed to apprehend one of them.
This individual is a Real IRA boss in the Bluebell and Inchicore areas of the south inner city.
The 31-year-old has been active on the criminal and terrorist front for years and operates his own gang. He has served a number of serious offences, including a four-year sentence for a firearms offence and a six-year stretch for membership of the Real IRA.
The gun attack further ratchets up tensions in Dublin’s gangland following the murder of Ryan in Clongriffin, north Dublin, last September.
Gardaí suspect a number of senior criminal figures conspired in Ryan’s killing, with Kelly featuring as one of the possible conspirators. Yesterday’s murder may have been in revenge for that.
Kelly, a dad-of-nine, was known to most of the crime figures in the city and was considered a godfather or mentor to crime boss Eamon Dunne, who was gunned down in April 2010. Before that Kelly had a close relationship with Dunne’s predecessor Marlo Hyland, who was murdered after an internal feud in 2006.
Kelly was sentenced to 14 years in jail in 1993 after being convicted of smuggling cocaine into Ireland from the US, while he also had a criminal record for robbery and assault.
Although not a sworn member of the official IRA, he was heavily involved in their shadowy unit, known as Group B.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone in the Furry Park Road area at the time, or who may have information about the incident, to contact Clontarf Garda Station at 01-666 4800.
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