Wednesday November 23 2005
GARDAI investigating the murder of a small-time criminal in the Wicklow Gap earlier this month believe he was killed because of a drug debt.
Owen McCarthy (27) had been dealing in cocaine in Clondalkin in south west Dublin.
Detectives believe he ran into financial difficulties after losing a haul of drugs worth around €30,000. They are working on the theory that the murder was carried out on the orders of another trafficker he had known for several years.
McCarthy, from Ashwood Park, Clondalkin, was lured to the Wicklow Gap by former associates who told him they intended to retrieve a drugs haul which had been stashed there. A series of searches in the area since the murder have been carried out by gardai but have failed to unearth the haul. "We have not yet positively identified the killer but we are satisfied the victim went to the Wicklow Gap under false pretences and knew nothing about his death sentence until he was hit," one senior officer disclosed last night.
Forensic tests have shown McCarthy's killer fired two blasts from a weapon is rarely used by crime gangs.
The weapon is known as a woman's shotgun because it is almost two pounds lighter, than the more popular version, has less recoil and fires a smaller cartridge.
McCarthy had broken his leg earlier this year after falling from a roof. While in hospital he caught the MRSA superbug. A shotgun cartridge recovered from the scene has been examined by garda forensic experts and It is believed it may have been smuggled in here as "sweetener" with a drugs shipment.