Gardaí ‘closing in’ on men behind gangland killing

Gardaí are confident of making progress in the investigation into the gangland murder of Gerard Eglington in Co Laois last Monday.

The investigation team is understood to be closing in on the two killers who gunned the 27-year-old down at his home in Kilnacourt Woods in Portarlington.

The shooting, which took place at 8.30am, was witnessed by his 11-year-old stepdaughter and three-year-old son.

The gunmen are thought to be drug addicts and left behind a trail of evidence which has helped detectives identify the suspects.

They were not masked at the time of the gun attack. There are also reports they were seen around the town in the preceding days and even visited pubs.

Gardaí have scoured CCTV footage from the town in a bid to identify them. These efforts have been assisted by inquiries among residents in Kilnacourt Woods.

Gardaí have also sought the public’s help in tracing the duo’s getaway vehicle, a dark blue Mazda 6, registration 05 KY 934.

Detectives are gathering all their evidence before they take any further steps. However, Garda sources said they were making “definite progress”.

Gardaí are investigating if the addicts carried out the attack to pay off a debt to a gang feuding with the outfit to which Mr Eglington was allied.

He was a member of the Rattigan gang, named after Brian Rattigan, who is serving life for the murder of Declan Gavin in 2001. It was the first murder in the feud with the Thompson gang — named after Freddie Thompson, who was extradited last year to Spain to face drug trafficking charges.

Mr Eglington’s murder marked the 14th killing in the so-called Crumlin-Drimnagh feud and the first in over three years.

Gardaí suspect that Mr Eglington’s murder may be in revenge for a violent assault on a figure in the Thompson gang and his wife.

Meanwhile, gardaí investigating a second gangland murder last Monday, that of Declan O’Reilly in Dublin’s south inner city, are continuing interviews with Mr O’Reilly’s 12-year-old son, who witnessed the killing. Sources said the specialist child interviewers would “take it slow” with the child.

Elsewhere, detectives in Tallaght seized two well-maintained sawn-off shotguns, ammunition, and €20,000 worth of cannabis resin in a house in Brookfield. Gardaí suspect a man arrested at the scene was minding the firearms for a local gang.

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