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Man found dead in car was on his way to gangland hit

Gardai are investigating the death of the man in Leixlip. FILE PHOTO
Gardai are investigating the death of the man in Leixlip. FILE PHOTO

A man who was found dead in a stolen car in December was a criminal who was about to take part in a gangland hit, it has emerged.

Gardaí now suspect that Glen Clarke, a father-of-two, was about to take out a rival gangster when his body was discovered unconscious with a single gunshot wound to his head.

Officers had initially though the 26-year-old had died by suicide after discovering a handgun in the footwell of the silver Vauxhall Zafira.

But now a senior source has told Independent.ie that detectives now believe he shot himself by mistake.

Clarke was found at 1.30am on December 2 in the car which had been fitted with false plates in the Riverdale Estate in Leixlip, Co Kildare. He was brought by ambulance to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown where he subsequently died from his injury.

A report in the ‘Sunday Times' indicates that Clarke had purchased a can of petrol shortly before his death and one theory being investigated is that he was on his way to carry out an assassination on behalf of the Kinahan crime cartel.

Clarke, from Cabra in Dublin, was known to gardaí but was not considered a major criminal.

A senior source said: "This case was always regarded as an unusual one. He was discovered in a stolen car in a private estate.

"It is highly likely that he was going somewhere. If he was there before carrying out a hit then gardaí are very anxious to establish who was at risk.

"At the moment gardaí have not identified who the target was and this is something they are very keen to do."

The source added that the death was "most likely" an accident.