Two teens and middle-aged man quizzed over Athy gun murder

Shot: Jason Doogue (22) was murdered on Friday evening in the Kildare town
Shot: Jason Doogue (22) was murdered on Friday evening in the Kildare town

Gardai are continuing to question two teenagers and a middle-aged man about the gun murder of a 22-year-old.

Jason Doogue was fatally shot as he chatted with friends outside a house in Athy, Co Kildare, last Friday.

A man wearing a balaclava cycled towards Mr Doogue in the Greenhills area of the town and opened fire at point-blank range.

Gardai said last night a man in his 40s, who was arrested on Friday evening, is still being questioned at Kildare Garda Station .

A boy in his early teens was arrested on Saturday afternoon and brought to Leixlip Garda Station, where he remained in custody last night.

A youth in his late teens was arrested on Saturday evening and he is undergoing questioning at Naas Garda Station.

The victim was the second member of his family to die violently. His mother Mary was kicked and beaten to death by a man in Athy in 1995.

Mr Doogue was sitting on a wall with up to four friends when he was shot at least three times with a handgun. He managed to walk to the door of the house where he collapsed.

A woman attempted to cradle him and neighbours said the dying man cried out "get me help, get me help" as he lay bleeding in the woman's arms.

He was taken by ambulance to Naas General Hospital, where he died around 90 minutes later.

Gardai carried out a series of searches in the town and arrested the middle-aged man later that evening.

A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday.

A motive for the killing has not yet been established, but one theory being investigated is that the killing was part of a drugs feud in the Kildare town.

Doogue was known to gardaí for public order offences.

A female friend of the victim told the Herald that Mr Doogue was about to get ready to go on a date with his girlfriend.

"It's terrible what happened him. He had a hard life," she said.

There have been a number of pipe bomb and gun attacks on homes in Athy in recent weeks.

A series of incidents in the town, including one in which shots were fired, stem from a feud between two separate groups suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and other crimes.

In 1995, Jason Doogue's mother Mary (30) was kicked to death by her ex-lover Stephen Davis (20) in a jealous rage following a night out.

He was later found guilty of her murder. He spent more than 15 years in prison before being released on licence.

One friend of the victim commented that "this feels like one big bad dream I can't wake up from".

Another friend said Jason will never be forgotten. "You're in a better place now," they said.

Alan O'Keefe