Ballyfermot killing 'highly unusual'

Detectives have described the gangland-style execution today of a father-of-two on his way to work as highly unusual.

Ballyfermot killing 'highly unusual'

Detectives have described the gangland-style execution today of a father-of-two on his way to work as highly unusual.

David D'Arcy, 39, was pulling out of his home on Cherry Orchard Avenue in Ballyfermot, west Dublin, around 7am - as he did every weekday morning - when he was gunned down.

His killers pulled up outside the house, blocking off the meat delivery man's driveway, before running alongside his van and firing three lethal shots into his head and upper body.

While the gun attack bore all the hallmarks of an organised crime hit, investigators said the victim was known as a regular hard-working father who had never before come to the attention of gardaí.

"It's a bit of a mystery," said one Garda source.

"It's exceptional, highly unusual. It's not like a normal gangland killing where there could be multiple enemies involved and something very specific."

Mr D'Arcy's partner of 20 years, Amanda, and the couple's 15-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son were awoken from their sleep when they heard the commotion.

They ran outside to find his bloodied body slumped inside his van.

Paramedics among the first to arrive at the house tried in vain to resuscitate him. A doctor later pronounced him dead at the scene, which was sealed off for preliminary post-mortem tests and forensic examination by technical experts.

Mr D'Arcy was a delivery driver for Tom Whelan's Meat Suppliers based in the nearby Ballymount Industrial Estate, where he had worked for more than two decades. His brother also works in the same business.

Investigating gardaí said he was highly regarded at both work and in his neighbourhood.

The gunmen used a stolen dark blue Opel Astra, with registration plate 99 CE 3047, in the attack. The car, which was stolen on November 23, was found burnt out on nearby Inagh Road, shortly after the shooting.

It is believed the killers used an automatic handgun.

Mr D'Arcy reversed out of his driveway every weekday morning at 6.50am in his van, distinctively emblazoned with Whelan's Award-Winning Sausages livery, before travelling the short distance to his workplace.

While there was a high-profile case of suspected mistaken identity in the killing of cousins Glen Murphy and Mark Noonan in Finglas, north Dublin last year, detectives believe the specific timing and location of Mr D'Arcy's killing suggest the gunmen had studied his movements and made such a scenario more unlikely.

After launching a full-scale murder inquiry at Ballyfermot Garda Station, investigators said they still had no motive for the shooting.

Deputy state pathologist Michael Curtis carried out a full post-mortem examination.

Local priest Father Pat Reynolds said the neighbourhood was stunned by the murder.

"We don't have incidents like this in the area. All the neighbours are shocked because the man who was killed was a working man," he said.

"He went out to work every morning and this morning, this is what happens.

Fr Reynolds added: "It's so terrible that this should invade the area here because the people here are very friendly and very welcoming people. I think now is the time to leave the family and allow them to grieve and I know they are very broken."

Aengus O Snodaigh, Sinn Féin TD for the area, said young children would have to pass the scene of the killing on their way to school.

"It's a horrific event in a relatively quiet area," he said.

"It's about 100 yards from St Ultan's national school. This will frighten a lot of people in the area."

Mr O Snodaigh added: "All the young children in the area will be aware of what has happened as they'll have to pass the cordoned-off scene - it just adds to the problems they have to deal with in their daily lives."

The Dublin South Central TD said there were many high-powered CCTV cameras locally which may be able to help gardaí in their inquiry.

The shooting is the 13th gun murder nationwide this year.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious on Cherry Orchard Avenue or Inagh Road during the morning or over the past few days to get in contact.

They would particularly like to hear from early morning motorists such as taxi or bus drivers as well as commuters who travel to work through the area.

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