'Had it coming' | 

‘Vigilante’ dies in crash as he fled scene after knife murder of sex offender in Monaghan

Sex offender Christopher Mooney (60) died in frenzied stabbing at his home at Broomfield, Co Monaghan Kieran Hamill (37) died after being hit by a car near the scene of the killing

Forensic officers at a house in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, where the body of a man was discovered. Photo: Liam McBurney© PA

A forensic collision officer at the scene of a road crash at the Ballynacarry Bridge on the N53, Co Monaghan. Photo: Liam McBurney© PA

Forensic officers and gardaí at a house in Castleblayney Co Monaghan, where a man's body was discovered. Photo: Liam McBurney© PA

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

A convicted child sex offender who was killed in a frenzied stabbing at his home in Co Monaghan may have been targeted because of his offending.

Detectives are also investigating whether the suspect for the fatal attack was himself killed by a car while fleeing the scene.

Christopher Mooney (60) died in the incident at his home, while Kieran Hamill (37) died after being hit by a car nearby.

Kieran Hamill of Cullaville in Armagh who died in a traffic accident on December 1, 2022

Mooney, a convicted sex offender, died from multiple suspected knife wounds at his home in Broomfield, near Castleblayney, yesterday morning.

A male relative arrived at the property at around 6.30am and made the discovery while also disturbing the suspected killer.

It is understood the suspect told the victim’s innocent relative “he [Mooney] had that coming” before running off.

The Irish Independenthas learned Mooney was convicted of committing an act of gross indecency against a child around 20 years ago and served a prison term for the sexual abuse.

Gardaí are investigating if he was killed because of his previous sexual offending, but are also following other lines of inquiry to determine if he was targeted for a different reason.

A manhunt was launched after the discovery was made, but a short time later gardaí were called to a traffic collision nearby.

Kieran Hamill, of Cullaville, south Armagh, died after he was hit by a car at the Ballynacarry Bridge.

The occupants of the car, understood to be from Tyrone, were not injured but were treated for shock.

Initial inquiries were conducted at the scene and Hamill matched the description of the suspect for the murder nearby.

Gardaí believe he was the person who killed Mooney and died accidentally while making his way back to his home across the Border.

Gardaí have stressed that the investigations into the two deaths are still continuing and a number of lines of inquiry are being followed.

“All indications are that these two incidents are linked and that the individual killed in the road traffic collision was involved in the earlier fatal assault,” one source close to the investigation said.

“The man killed at his house had a previous conviction for a sexual offence against a child and had already been the target of an attack a number of years ago.”

The two investigations are being conducted separately but officers are liaising due to the connections between both incidents.

Gardaí will also be seeking to establish any connection between the two men and if they had any previous interactions.

Hamill had previously come to the attention of police forces on both sides of the Border and had been investigated for violent crime by gardaí.

He was arrested and charged with assault causing harm to a woman in Dundalk last year.

Hamill had also faced charges of affray and threatening to damage a woman’s property.

He was due to appear in court in two weeks’ time in relation to one incident.

It is understood Mooney had been the target of a vigilante-type attack several years ago because of his previous offending.

Local people were trying to come to terms yesterday with the deaths, with one person saying: “It has completely rocked the community.”

The property at Knockreagh Lower, Broomfield, remained sealed off yesterday, with gardaí carrying out forensic examinations of the scene.

A garda spokesman said Mooney’s body had been “removed from the scene to the mortuary in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, where a post-mortem examination is due to take place on Friday morning”.

Dr Linda Mulligan, of the Office of the State Pathologist, will carry out the post-mortem, the results of which will determine the course of the investigation.

The garda spokesman added: “Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the Broomfield area between 5am and 6.45am on Thursday morning, particularly with mobile phone or dashcam footage, to contact Castleblayney garda station on 042 974 0668 or the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.”

A similar appeal for information has been made to anyone who was travelling in the vicinity of the N53 Castleblayney to Dundalk Road yesterday morning to contact investigators.

Anyone with information in relation to that incident is being asked to contact Carrickmacross garda station on 042 969 0190, the Garda Confidential Line.

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