NewsCrime Desk

"Double cross" led to gangland murder of Darren Kearns

Darren Kearns
Darren Kearns

Gun victim Darren Kearns is believed to have been shot dead for ‘losing’ €1.7million of cannabis herb belonging to a gang he already owed money to.

It is understood that the vicious mob, who had Kearns under pressure to pay them back a debt of €180,000, believed he had double crossed them when he was caught with the consignment he was transporting as a part payment of the money owed.

He got six years for his role in the drug bust after he was caught in 2010, but he told his trial that he had been abducted and tortured and then forced to move the narcotics in a van to Newry to pay off some of the money he already owed for his cocaine habit.

A court heard Kearns claim that he had been allowed build up a massive loan of €180,000 to the gang as a result of his €1,000 a day coke habit, but as he tried to work off some of the debt was caught red-handed with more of their product.

The hapless dealer told the court that he was only moving the drugs because he had been forced to. His brother Philip was with him when officers pounced on a van they had borrowed for the delivery at Ballyboughal, in Co. Meath. He received four years for his role in the incident.

Kearns was on temporary release when he was shot on January 30 at 5.30pm outside a Chinese restaurant where he had eaten with his wife.

He had not planned to go to the restaurant above Cumiskeys Pub on Blackhorse Avenue in Cabra and Gardaí believe he had been followed by an assassin.  

A car was found burnt out on Blackhorse Avenue, not far from the scene.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything unusual in the area at the time of the shooting to contact them at Cabra Garda Station on 01 6667400 or

The Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111.