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Investigation Ombudsman launches probe after claims gardai knew about threat to kill Patrick 'Pappy' Lyons

Probe launched over failure to pass on info to investigators

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Patrick Lyons was shot

Patrick Lyons was shot

Patrick Lyons was shot

The Garda Ombudsman yesterday officially confirmed they have launched a probe following claims several gardaí had been made aware of a threat to the life of Patrick 'Pappy' Lyons - more than 24 hours before he was shot dead.

It's understood the GSOC probe will also examine claims the three Ballymun-based-officers were initially involved in the murder investigation - but failed to disclose their knowledge of the threat to the investigation team until four days into the probe.

'Pappy' was shot once in the head and three times in the chest in an attack on February 11 that gardaí described as 'baffling in its level of violence' as the deceased had no involvement in gangland crime.

The Sunday World understands it is claimed the team investigating Pappy's murder were not made aware of pre-existing knowledge relating to a threat to his life until Monday of this week - four days after his death.

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Flowers at the scene on Belclare Terrace where Paddy 'Pappy' Lyons was shot dead. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

Flowers at the scene on Belclare Terrace where Paddy 'Pappy' Lyons was shot dead. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

Flowers at the scene on Belclare Terrace where Paddy 'Pappy' Lyons was shot dead. Photograph by Gerry Mooney

In a statement yesterday, GSOC confirmed to this newspaper that the matter had been referred by An Garda Síochána to GSOC for investigation.

The Sunday World yesterday called to the family home of Mr. Lyons but the dead man's mother declined to comment.

"I won't be giving any statement to newspapers," she said.

Senior sources say gardaí are now following a "definite line of inquiry" in relation to the murder.

It's understood the three gardaí who allegedly knew of the threat to Pappy's life were key members of the murder investigation team and participated in murder case conferences throughout last weekend without disclosing the information until Monday.

Senior sources said that all three officers had now been taken off the case but have not been suspended from duty.

Gardaí have refused to confirm reports that a Garda informer is at the centre of the 'murder tip-off' debacle and may have recorded his interactions with the officers in which the death threat information was given before Pappy was killed.

Gardaí of the most senior level have been involved in the internal investigation which has led to the matter being referred to the GSOC, who confirmed yesterday they begun an investigation.

Sources said last night that senior gardaí have been left "extremely concerned" about how information about a threat to his life was handled.

"In the first instance, it is perhaps understandable that the victim did not receive an official notification of a threat against his life because this information needs to be analysed and distilled before deemed to be credible," a senior source said.

"However, what is not acceptable and is completely wrong was that these officers sat there for days on end and did not disclose this information.

"Why did they not come forward with this information earlier? It beggars belief - it is shocking, it is wrong," the source said.

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