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Coroner's court Not enough evidence to charge suspects in Hutch gang murder of Michael Keogh - DPP

The murder has been linked to the Hutch/Kinahan gangland feud.

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Michael Keogh

Michael Keogh

Michael Keogh

The DPP ruled that there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal prosecution against suspects identified for the murder of man in Dublin’s north inner city four years ago, an inquest had heard.

The death of Michael Keogh, whose body was discovered in his car in an underground car park at the Sheridan Court flat complex off Dorset Street on the morning of May 31, 2017, was linked to the Hutch/Kinahan gangland feud in the city.

Detective Inspector Aidan Flanagan told a hearing of Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Thursday that three people, including one serving a prison sentence, had been arrested in relation to the killing of Mr Keogh – a 36-year-old father of two – while another suspect had died before he could be arrested.

It is believed to be a reference to the death of Jason “Buda” Molyneaux, an associate of the Hutch gang, who was himself the victim of a fatal gangland shooting in January 2018.

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Buda Molyneux

Buda Molyneux

Buda Molyneux

Mr Keogh’s brother Jonathan (35) and his sister, Regina (43) were both sentenced to life imprisonment by the Special Criminal Court in 2018 for the murder of Gareth Hutch on May 24, 2016.

Det Insp Flanagan told the inquest that the investigation into Mr Keogh’s death had involved 405 different lines of inquiry with statements taken from 192 witnesses.

The court heard that gardaí had reviewed 15,000 hours of CCTV footage from 98 different premises in the areas of Dorset Street and Drumcondra as part of their inquiry.

While the DPP had directed there should be no prosecution based on the evidence gathered, Det Insp Flanagan said the case would be re-examined if new evidence came to light.

A housing attendant with Dublin City Council, Robert Reeves, gave evidence of finding Mr Keogh’s body in his car in an underground car park near his home at around 9.30am.

Mr Reeves said he first noticed glass on the ground near the vehicle and initially thought the car had been broken into.

The witness said he observed a man lying with his back against the passenger door whom he thought might be a sleeping homeless individual.

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Regina Keogh

Regina Keogh

Regina Keogh

However, Mr Reeves said he then noticed blood on the man’s face and clothing, while he also had a set of car keys in his hand.

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The inquest heard gardaí were alerted after Mr Reeves contacted his supervisor in the council.

The caretaker said he did not notice anything or anyone suspicious around the Sheridan Courts complex that morning where he had begun work at 7.20am.

Mr Reeves said it was an upsetting discovery but confirmed he had seen nobody else in the car park.

Another council worker, Francis O’Callaghan, who had been in the area a number of times earlier that morning before the alarm was raised also said he had not seen anything unusual.

Detective Garda Enda O’Sullivan told the hearing that he had been alerted to a burnt-out vehicle at the junction of Clonliffe Road and Clonliffe Avenue, Drumcondra at 8.20am on May 31, 2017.

Det Garda O’Sullivan said he suspected the burnt-out Opel Astra had been involved in a crime as a handgun with a silencer had been found on the back seat, while the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Fairview area.

The detective said he subsequently became aware at around 9.40am that a body had been discovered in Sheridan Court and he believed there was a link between the two incidents.

On arrival in the underground car park, Det Garda O’Sullivan said he could see four clear gunshot wounds on the victim’s head and chest and it appeared the left-hand side of his jaw was broken.

Mr Keogh’s sister, Christine, gave evidence of identifying her brother’s body at a city mortuary.

Other members of his family expressed concern about the time before emergency services were alerted to the scene.

However, the coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane said it was clear that Mr Keogh would have died instantaneously from the very serious injuries he had sustained.

A post-mortem carried out by the then State pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, found Mr Keogh had died as a result of gunshot wounds to the head, neck and trunk.

A jury of four men and two women returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown.

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