NewsCrime Desk

Convicted killer and gangland figure found dead in prison

Crime DeskBy Shuki Byrne
Deceased: Eugene 'the Devil' Cullen
Deceased: Eugene 'the Devil' Cullen

A man serving life in prison for his part in the gun murder of a father-of-two in Dublin has been found dead in prison, sources have said.

Eugene 'the Devil' Cullen (31) was discovered deceased at approximately 9am in his cell at Midlands Prison following a suspected overdose. 

Cullen, who was from Crumlin in Dublin, was serving a life sentence for his part in the murder of Seamus O' Byrne (27) at Tymon Park North, Tallaght, on March 13, 2009.

His partner Sharon Rattigan was also shot in the leg during the attack. 

During the case, the prosecution alleged that Cullen was one of four men who, leading up to the incident, were involved in plotting, planning and executing the murder.

Gardai regarded Cullen as a key member of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's drug gang and he has played a significant role in the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.

He was extradited on foot of a European Arrest Warrant from Amsterdam in 2012 after spending three years in the city. Since his arrest he had been incarcerated. 

He is believed to have targeted O'Byrne (above) because of his lifelong friendship with rival mob boss Brian Rattigan.

In court, Sharon Rattigan - the sister of Brian Rattigan - told how she was living with O' Byrne and two children in Tymon Park North for a year.

She told Mr Alex Owens SC, prosecuting she and her partner planned to go out that night and she was going to leave her son down to her mother’s house to be babysat.

She said she put her son in the baby seat of the cars while Mr O’Byrne had just closed the hall door. Ms Rattigan told the court she saw a man coming up the garden in dark clothes pulling up his hood and said she saw a gun in his right hand.

“He turned at Seamus and started shooting his gun,” she said.

Ms Rattigan said she heard five bangs and when she ran to try and stop him she was shot in the leg.

 “When I ran at him he shot me in the leg then I grabbed him because I thought he was going to shoot me again,” she said. She said she grabbed the gun and they struggled and fell over the garden wall.

Ms Rattigan said he kept hitting her over the head with the gun and he was saying: “give me the gun ya bitch”.

“He was whacking off me head,” she told the court. She told the court she saw his face as he was getting over the wall.

 “He was very pale and his eyes were bulging at me,” she said. Ms Rattigan said as soon as she got the gun she threw it in the front seat of her car and that the man ran off. 

“It felt like it went on for ages,” she said. Ms Rattigan said she tried to help Mr O’ Byrne who was lying on the ground.

She was taken to hospital by ambulance but did not know her partner was dead at that time.