Arrest in gangland murder case

A MAN was questioned yesterday in connection with the brutal gangland murder of a young man in west Dublin about a year ago.

Damien Dowdall, 23, was shot dead in front of his girlfriend after his killers forced their way into their Clondalkin home on January 23, 2007. The murder was particularly tragic as the young couple had only recently moved in together.

Gardaí said Mr Dowdall was not a criminal, but he had been seen in the company of people who were associates of a violent drug dealer in the area. This man has been investigated in relation to a number of gangland murders.

Two masked men had knocked on the door of their three-bed terraced house and when Debbie Quinn, 22, answered, they forced their way past her.

Ignoring the desperate pleas of Ms Quinn they fired a number of shots at close range into her boyfriend. Senior Garda officers, well used to violent crime, were badly affected by what they saw when they went to the scene. Ms Quinn was unable to speak to gardaí for a number of days afterwards.

The gruesome murder — the first gangland murder of 2007 — outraged the local community and led to appeals for a strong state response to organised crime.

The Garda team, led by detectives at Clondalkin Garda Station, arrested a number of people last year. Yesterday morning they arrested another man, a 23-year-old Clondalkin man, in relation to the murder. He was detained at Clondalkin Garda Station under the provisions of section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939.

Gardaí also arrested three other men during the course of the operation yesterday morning in relation to other serious crimes in the Clondalkin area.

The three men, two aged 19 years and one aged 33 years, were detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939.

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