no eyewitness | 

Nobody charged with Dublin man’s shooting four years ago despite 400 lines of inquiry

David “Chen” Lynch (42) died from multiple gunshot wounds in a suspected gangland attack outside his house in Lucan, Co Dublin

David “Chen” Lynch (42) died from multiple gunshot wounds

The scene of the fatal shooting of David Lynch

Seán McCárthaighSunday World

Nobody was ever charged with the fatal shooting of a man outside his home in west Dublin four years ago, despite over 400 lines of inquiry having been examined by gardaí, an inquest has heard.

David “Chen” Lynch (42) died from multiple gunshot wounds in a suspected gangland attack outside his house at Foxdene Avenue, Balgaddy, Lucan, Co Dublin on March 1, 2019.

A sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard that the deceased was discovered lying on the ground between his driveway and the public footpath by a neighbour shortly after 2pm.

Inspector Brian Hanley told the hearing that there were no prosecutions pending in relation to Mr Lynch’s death and no active investigation was ongoing.

However, Insp Hanley said the Garda file on the case remained open.

He informed the coroner, Aisling Gannon, that gardaí had followed up over 400 different lines of inquiry and taken over 200 witness statements in relation to Mr Lynch’s death.

Insp Hanley said the investigation team had also analysed 60 different pieces of CCTV footage and gathered 160 different exhibits.

The scene of the fatal shooting of David Lynch

The inquest heard that there had been no eyewitness to the actual shooting.

He said investigators believed Mr Lynch had arrived back at his home shortly before 2pm after being at a barber’s shop in Lucan.

Insp Hanley said gardaí believed three different getaway vehicles had been used following the attack on Mr Lynch.

One of the first gardaí to respond to a 999 call to attend the incident outside the victim’s house, retired Sergeant Richard Williams, said they had seen large black smoke coming from an area as they were travelling to Foxdene Avenue.

Sgt Williams said from experience they immediately suspected it might be a burning car linked to the shooting.

The witness described finding blood pouring from the victim’s wounds and checking Mr Lynch’s pulse but finding none.

The victim’s next-door neighbour, Gerry Connors, said he was taking his bicycle out when he noticed Mr Lynch lying on the ground.

“I thought he had fallen and hit his head,” said Mr Connors.

However, he subsequently saw blood coming from a number of holes in the victim’s body and spotted several bullet casings on the ground.

Mr Connors said he had not seen or heard anything before he came upon his neighbour.

The pathologist who carried out a post-mortem on the victim’s body, Michael Curtis, said Mr Lynch had suffered five gunshot wounds.

Dr Curtis said two bullets had been found in the deceased’s head and left hip joint.

He said the gunshot wound to Mr Lynch’s head had caused severe brain damage that was “incompatible with life.”

Dr Curtis said another bullet which had hit the victim in the chest had caused serious injuries to his small intestine and a major blood vessel which had resulted in extensive internal bleeding.

There was no alcohol or drugs found in his system.

The pathologist said Mr Lynch’s death would have been “rapidly, if not instantaneously, fatal.”

A close friend of the deceased, Valerie Whelan, who was one of the last people to see the victim alive, said they had met earlier on the morning of his death for a coffee in Fonthill.

She recalled that Mr Byrne had been in “absolutely great form” and did not appear to have any concerns.

She said she rang him a short time after they had left the coffee shop but she assumed he was still getting his haircut when he got no reply.

Ms Whelan said she got a call a short time later to inform her about the shooting.

Another friend, Mandy Byrne, said Mr Lynch had been the driving force which led her to set up her own fitness business.

Ms Byrne said she had regularly stayed in the deceased’s house for a number of years and had done cleaning, cooking and other jobs for him including walking his dog.

She described Mr Lynch as a very private person and was not sure what his own professional business was.

Ms Byrne said the deceased did not go out much and did not like people just like herself and also hated drink, drugs and smoking.

However, she said he had been looking forward to going on holiday to Spain at the time of his death.

Ms Byrne said she left the house around midday and Mr Lynch stood at the door waving goodbye stating: “See you later.”

She told the hearing that she did not think he was going to leave his house that afternoon.

“He was very happy and relaxed and in great form,” she added.

A jury of six women returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown based on the evidence.

Although Mr Lynch had no major criminal convictions, gardaí believe he was linked to a criminal gang based in west Dublin and Kildare and may have become involved in a gangland feud between rival groups in Clondalkin and Lucan.

The deceased had reached a €160,000 settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2019.

He had previously moved abroad for a period after feeling threatened by a former associate, Mark Desmond, a leader of a criminal gang based in Ballyfermot who was murdered in 2016.

Gardaí investigating Mr Lynch’s murder discovered a burning Peugeot Partner van at Buirg an Rí Glen in Balgaddy as well as a handgun and silencer beside the vehicle shortly after the fatal shooting.

The van had been bought online in May 2018 by a buyer who provided false details when purchasing the van.

A grey Toyota Avensis, which gardaí believe was also used as a getaway vehicle, was found on fire in Paddocks View, Lucan. It had been stolen in Celbridge, Co Kildare two weeks earlier.

A third vehicle – a black Opel Insignia with the registration 10-D-1760 – which gardaí suspect was used by Mr Lynch’s killer or killers to flee from Paddocks View has never been traced.

Two males were seen running from Paddocks View onto Dodsborough Road where the Opel had been parked before it travelled through Lucan village towards the N4.

The car had been purchased online in May 2019 using false details.

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