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'The Beast' died from shock and haemorrhage after multiple gun shots

Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll
Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll

A FORMER dissident Republican commander died from shock and haemorrhage after he sustained multiple gunshot wounds in an execution-style attack last Christmas.

Aidan 'The Beast' O'Driscoll (37) died after he was ambushed and shot up to four times on December 7 as he walked in Blackpool in Cork city.

Detectives fear it was a targeted attack by his old dissident Republican colleagues.

Gardai are still trying to determine if the gunman was from Dublin or recruited from Kerry-Limerick to carry out the attack.

A Cork coroner's inquest into Mr O'Driscoll's death was adjourned after Coroner Philip Comyn heard evidence of identification and cause of death.

The inquest was adjourned on the application of Detective Inspector Declan O'Sullivan.

"Criminal proceedings are being contemplated by the Gardai," he said.

Det Inspector O'Sullivan said Gardai are currently working on a file which will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Dr Comyn was told by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster that Mr O'Driscoll died from shock and haemorrhage due to multiple gunshot wounds.

The coroner adjourned the inquest for mention to November 30 but told the O'Driscoll family that a death certificate will be available in five days.

A 40-strong team of detectives at Watercourse Road Garda Station are investigating the killing which occurred on a busy Blackpool street in the build-up to Christmas.

Up to four vehicles were used in the getaway – two of which, a Nissan Almera and Vauxhall Astra van, were found burned out a couple of hours after the shooting on Redemption Road in the city and at Killeens.

However, a third vehicle, an Opel Astra, used by the killers to flee from Killeens, was only found shortly before Christmas in a remote ravine in Nadd.

A fourth vehicle was then used by the killers to flee from Nadd, possible a Toyota Avensis.

Gardaí also suspect a motorcyclist may have operated as ‘a spotter’ for the gunmen waiting to ambush Mr O’Driscoll.

Two weapons were also seized by detectives during a search of houses in Cork.

The weapons – a sawn-off shotgun and a US-made Colt semi-automatic pistol – were seized from a property on the Old Commons Road in Cork just hours after Mr O’Driscoll was fatally shot.

Detectives are also considering whether Mr O’Driscoll may have recognised one of his attackers seconds before he was shot.

He apparently realised he was about to be ambushed, turned and attempted to flee.

However, he was shot once in the back and fell to the pavement. A gunman then walked up to him and shot him up to three more times.

Mr O’Driscoll died just over an hour later as he was undergoing emergency surgery at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Supt Michael Comyns insisted at the time Gardaí were keeping “a very open mind” about the murder.

Mr O’Driscoll was the victim of a punishment shooting in 2013 and was expelled from the dissident Republican group.

He had also apparently been warned about his recent activities which included associating with known Limerick criminals.

The former Delaneys GAA player also had numerous enemies within Munster-based drug gangs so detectives are not willing to rule out revenge as the motive for the killing.

“It has been established that the getaway car used, a Nissan Almera registration number 01 TS 1312, was in the general Blackpool area for a number of hours prior to the murder,” a Garda spokesperson said.

“We are also appealing for any taxi driver, driver or cyclists who have a Dashcam and were in the Blackpool area from 2pm onwards to contact Gardaí.”

“A further appeal is being made for any witness who may have seen a white Vauxhall Astra van registration number 99 G 12357, a red Opel Astra car (reg no unknown) or a black Toyota Avensis (reg no unknown) on the day of the murder in the Blackpool area from 2pm to 5pm or in the Killeens area from 2pm to 6pm.”

Special posters have been placed in Blackpool near the scene of the murder appealing for public information.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on (021) 4522000 or the Garda Confidential line (1800) 666111.