Saturday, 9 June 2001

Drugs war feared after crime boss killed at door

By Ralph Riegel

Saturday June 09 2001
GARDAI in Cork fear a vicious drugs war after a leading gang boss was gunned down at his front door.

Kieran O'Flynn (39), died when a lone gunman called at his door for the second time at Thorndale Estate off Dublin Hill at 11.15pm on Thursday.

The victim was a brother-in-law of Michael Crinion (35), a father of four who was gunned down in a drugs-related killing outside The Clannad pub, in 1995.

No one was ever charged with this slaying. Yesterday, a huge garda manhunt was launched amid fears of reprisals from O'Flynn's crime gang colleagues.

At least three shots were fired through the front door of the Thorndale Estate house.

Gardai believe a professional assassin was involved as the killer returned to the house after the victim's daughter answered the door to an earlier call.

It is understood the victim was answering the door when he was struck in the upper body by two bullets which passed through the door's glass and wood panels.

The killer then stepped into the hallway to fire a third bullet into his victim as he lay on the ground. The killer then fled on foot and is believed to have been picked up by an accomplice in a stolen car.

Last night Mayfield gardai, who have set up a special incident room to concentrate on the murder probe, were examining a Toyota car which was found burned out yesterday afternoon. The car had been stolen last month from Cork's College Road. Following the shooting, the emergency services were called and the victim was rushed to the Mercy Hospital. However, despite efforts by surgeons to save him, the man was pronounced dead a short time later.

The victim's distraught partner, Alison Murray, with her children, had found the father of three lying unconscious in a pool of blood.

The couple had moved into the Thorndale Estate two years ago after having lived previously on the southside.

Yesterday, State Pathologist Dr John Harbison conducted a post mortem and the victim's home remained sealed off as gardai and forensic detectives carried out an examination of the scene.

Kieran O'Flynn was well-known to the Garda and served a drugs-related sentence in the early 1990s after being found on board a boat with almost 50 kilos of cannabis.

Gardai last night declined to comment on the possible motive for the killing.

However, it is suspected that the assassination was linked to a turf war between rival southern drug gangs.

Gardai have appealed to the public for information about a grey Toyota Starlet, registration 98 C 5984.

- Ralph Riegel