Crime 'Godfather' Kelly shot dead in daylight shooting04/12/2012 - 18:46:51
One of Ireland’s most notorious criminals had been shot dead in a gangland-style hit this afternoon.
Eamon Kelly was gunned down close to his home in north Dublin at about 4pm this evening.
The 63-year-old career criminal – who is the 15th gun murder of the year - previously escaped at least one attempt on his life in 2010 when his attacker’s gun jammed.
A motive for the shooting will focus on a possible link to a bloody dispute with the Real IRA in north Dublin.
The leader of the terror faction, Alan Ryan, was murdered in September in another daylight gun attack. He had been embroiled in extortion and racketeering and demanding money from drugs gangs in the city.
Kelly was found seriously injured on a footpath after the gun attack on Furry Park Road in Killester and rushed to Beaumont hospital.
He had been shot several times in broad daylight.
A suspect in his 30s was arrested by unarmed gardai near the scene and taken to Clontarf garda station for questioning.
It is understood the suspect was detained as a black Lexus car was being set alight.
Kelly – who was dubbed the Godfather – was jailed for 14 years in the 1990s for possession of a kilo (2.2lb) of cocaine and was sentenced for assaulting a Workers Party member in the late 1980s.
In recent years he has been portrayed as a close associate and confidant of ruthless gang leader and drugs boss Eamonn “The Don” Dunne, who was shot dead in a pub in Cabra, north Dublin, in 2010.
But the dad-of-nine is said to have cut his teeth as an armed robber working with the Official IRA in the 1980s, raising money for the paramilitary group.
Fourteen people have been shot dead in gun attacks linked to criminal gangs or disputes this year.
“This is just one more gangland murder, it’s deplorable,” said one man.
The shooting came just hours after an unrelated incident in the north inner city today when a 21-year-old suspected member of the Real IRA was caught with a pistol in a car when the vehicle was stopped and searched by the Special Detective Unit and Emergency Response Unit.
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