Thursday, 10 March 2005

Murder 'linked to other gang killing'

By Tom BradySecurity Editor

Thursday March 10 2005
TWO women have been arrested by gardai in connection with the savage murder of a young Dublin man early yesterday.

The death of John Roche (25), of Clonmacnoise Road in Dublin is being linked to the fatal shooting of another gang-feud victim in the capital last year.

Mr Roche was hit at least twice in the chest when gunmen opened fire on him as he left his parked car at Military Road in Kilmainham shortly after midnight.

Four shots were fired from a handgun and the two gunmen then jumped into a black car which was seen speeding away shortly afterwards towards John's Road.

Mr Roche staggered around 100 metres along the road before collapsing outside Murray's pub. He was taken to St James' Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3.35am.

Gardai believe the dead man was associated with one of two gangs involved in a bitter feud over drug-trafficking for the past couple of years.

Mr Roche had been sought by gardai for questioning about the murder of a 23-year-old glazier, Paul Warren, of St Teresa's Gardens in the south inner city in February last year.

This was the first gangland murder this year. Last November career criminal Paul Cunningham (23), was shot dead in a house in Mulhuddart in west Dublin as part of a separate feud.

Cunningham was a close associate of gang leader Declan Curran who died in his cell at Cloverhill prison the previous weekend after being arrested at the scene of an armed hold-up. Last weekend another associate, Anthony Spratt, from Finglas, was found hanged in his cell at Mountjoy jail.

The level of serious gangland crime, particularly murders, has dropped significantly in the past year.

Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy described the fall as substantial and pointed out that some of the perceived gangland murders were family rows that developed for very little reason.

The two women are being held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Kevin Street Garda Station.

They can be held without charge for up to 72 hours.

- Tom BradySecurity Editor

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