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Gang killing Partner of murdered criminal and Mr Big pal Ken Finn tells inquest he 'had heart of gold'

I will never meet anyone like him again,” said Ms Clarke.

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Kenneth Finn

Kenneth Finn

Kenneth Finn

The partner of a man who was murdered in a gangland killing in Dublin three years ago said she knew of no reason why he was shot.

Donna Clarke told an inquest into the death of Kenneth Finn at Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Friday that her partner had “no hassle” with anybody either at the time of his death or in the past.

Finn (36) suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head as he was sitting in a car outside a house at Moatview Gardens in Coolock on February 25, 2018.

The father of two, who came originally from Marino but with an address at Quilty House, Clare Hall Village in Donaghmede, died two days later from his injuries at Beaumont Hospital.

Finn was a suspected hitman as well as an associate and close pal of a leading criminal on Dublin’s northside known as Mr Big.

He was the chief suspect in a number of gangland killings, including the gun murder of Real IRA leader Alan Ryan (32) in 2012, on behalf of the drugs mob led by 'Mr Big'.

Gangland killer Robbie Lawlor was the chief suspect for the murder of Finn.

Lawlor, also the chief suspect for the gruesome murder of Keane Mulready Woods (17), was himself shot dead in Belfast in April 2020.

At today's inquest, Ms Clarke recalled how the couple had spent the day of his shooting sitting at home in bed watching TV with their children.

At around 6.30pm, she said Kenneth had told her was going out and would be back in around 20 minutes but did not say where he was going.

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Robbie Lawlor was gunned down at a house on Etna Drive in north Belfast last year

Robbie Lawlor was gunned down at a house on Etna Drive in north Belfast last year

Robbie Lawlor was gunned down at a house on Etna Drive in north Belfast last year

“There is no way I would have left him out if I knew what would happen,” said Ms Clarke.

She told the inquest that she received a call from a friend around 8pm to tell her that Kenneth had been shot.

Ms Clarke expressed surprise that anyone would want to shoot her partner as he had “a heart of gold.”

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“He got on with everyone,” she added.

She described her partner as “funny, loyal and a slagger.”

“I will never meet anyone like him again,” said Ms Clarke.

The deceased man’s mother, Mary Finn, said she had last seen her son the previous week when he visited her for her birthday.

She remembered him as “a good lad and a good son”.

A resident of Moatview Gardens, Jean McKeever, described how she found the victim lying in her front garden after she heard another family member screaming.

Ms McKeever said she had heard a loud bang a short time earlier which she had thought was a firework.

Her neighbour, Bernadette Kelly, described trying to stop the flow of blood from the victim’s head wound with towels.

Ms Kelly said the man was not moving and struggling to breathe.

Detective Superintendent Edward Carroll told the inquest that a suspect who had been identified for the murder as a result of an extensive Garda investigation was now also deceased.

However, he said there was only limited evidence available that was not sufficient to have allowed gardai to arrest the suspect.

Det Supt Carroll said 243 investigative tasks had been conducted during the criminal investigation which also resulted in 65 statements being taken

The coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, said a post-mortem on the deceased’s body had concluded that he had died as a result of a single bullet wound which was lodged in the victim’s brain.

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

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