Crime figure was shot in own bedroom

SHORTLY after being shot in the head, Limerick crime figure Mikey Kelly, 48, told ambulance technicians that a gunman had come into his bedroom and fired at him, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mr Kelly who was shot on May 14, 2004, died a month later having lapsed into a coma.

The controversial figure spent more than 11 years in jail before going into the security business. He was elected an Alderman on Limerick City Council.

He was jailed months before his death for social welfare offences after the CAB took him to court.

Following a report by a Sunday newspaper following his death claiming a gun was buried in his coffin, members of his family tried to dig up his remains. After being stopped by gardaí, they got an exhumation order and no gun was found when the coffin was dug up and opened.

His family have always insisted Mr Kelly was shot by an intruder to his mother’s home in Southill where he had moved.

The Garda investigation into the shooting has been completed and no charges have been brought.

State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told yesterday’s inquest that Mr Kelly died from a heart attack with a contributory cause being a gunshot wound of unknown origin to the head.

Asked by coroner Dr Tony Casey if it was possible that it was suicide, Dr Cassidy said it was a close contact wound and she could not exclude the possibility that the wound was self inflicted.

She told a jury of four women and six men, that on June 14, 2004 when she carried out a postmortem she removed a deformed bullet which was still lodged in Mr Kelly’s brain.

She also found another smaller bullet near hisrib cage that would have been consistent with a previous shooting that had occurred two years earlier.

Garda Diarmaid Cloonan said he accompanied Mr Kelly when he was being brought by ambulance to the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

He overheard Mr Kelly who was still conscious tell an ambulance technician he had been shot by a thin man about 5’4” in height who came into his bedroom with a handgun that morning.

The hearing was told that members of the Kelly family prevented gardaí entering the home of Mrs Rita Kelly at Lilac Court, O’Malley Park when they went to the scene of the shooting at about 9.30am on May 14.

Mr Kelly moved in with his mother after splitting with his wife.

Anthony Kelly told the hearing he was about to bring his children to school when he got a phone from his mother saying “Anthony, Anthony, it’s Mikey, come down”.

On going into his brother’s bedroom he saw Mikey with a bullet wound to the right of his head and blood seeping from it.

Mikey tried to talk and moved his head.

Inspector Gerry McNamara said he was in charge of the Roxboro district on the day of the shooting and gardaí were prevented entering the house by family members.

They had to go and get a warrant.

Asked by coroner Dr Tony Casey if this hindered their investigation, Insp McNamara said it delayed it.

The jury returned a verdict that Mr Kelly died from a heart attack and that a gun shot wound to the head was a contributory cause.

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