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Suspended sentence Criminal once targeted by slain hitman Robbie Lawlor avoids jail after assisting man in evading arrest

Criminal Derek Mitchell who escaped attempt on his life is handed 12-month suspended sentence


Derek Mitchell’s kitchen was blasted.

Derek Mitchell’s kitchen was blasted.

Derek Mitchell’s kitchen was blasted.

A man who had been targeted in a assassination attempt by notorious hitman Robbie Lawlor has avoided jail after he was convicted in relation to a foiled robbery.

Derek Mitchell (27) from Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, Dublin, was given a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of an offender at Rosemount Avenue, Artane, Dublin, on March 13, 2015.

Mitchell, who had close links to feud murder victim Kane McCormack-Kirwan, was previously targeted by Lawlor who wanted to kill him because he was in a relationship with Lawlor's ex-girlfriend Rachel Kirwan.

Lawlor tried to carry out his plan on May 26, 2018 when he climbed a wall into the back garden of Mitchell's family home.


Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor


Mitchell's mother Fiona said she heard their dog barking and looked out and saw two men crawling along the back wall and then saw Lawlor in the garden with a gun.

She said she fled in terror as Lawlor opened fire on the home into the kitchen.

Lawlor shot the family dog Chopper during the attack but no one else was injured.

Lawlor was charged with a number of offences, including the attempted murder of Fiona Mitchell, but was acquitted by a jury.

He had been held on remand on a number of other charges.

On his release from prison, Lawlor re-ignited a feud with Dublin gangsters linked to the north Dublin gang boss known as 'Mr Big' and criminals involved in the Drogheda feud.

He was shot dead in Belfast in April last year after being set up rival mobsters. A network of criminals including Mr Big and several Drogheda criminals were believed to have planned the killing. Earlier this month, Mr Big was issued with an official Garda Information Message warning him of a threat to his life linked to the feuding.

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Lawlor had been at war with Mr Big's gang in the years before his death and was linked to a number of gun attacks on members of the gang, including the murder of Kenneth Finn, who was shot dead in February 2018.

He was also linked to numerous other gangland murders and was a suspect in the murder of Drogheda teenager Keane Mulready-Woods, whose body was dismembered.

Like many people linked to Ireland's underworld, Mitchell was likely relieved to hear of Lawlor's killing.

Despite being acquitted in relation to the gun attack on the Mitchell home, gardai firmly believe Lawlor carried out the attack.

When officers arrested him he tried to suggest that Mitchell might have been targeted because of his links to Kane McCormack- Kirwan, who was shot dead as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud in December 2017.

Lawlor told gardai that McCormack- Kirwan, whose father Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan had also been shot dead as part of the feud in 2016, had been hiding out in a shed in Mitchell's back garden prior to his murder.

He told gardai it "could have been the Hutches or the Kinahans. You haven't looked at that angle have you?"

During the same interview Lawlor described Rachel Kirwan as a "dirty, smelly k**cker" to gardai.

Lawlor had previusly threatened to kill Mitchell and Rachel Kirwan before carrying out the gun attack.

On the day of the gun attack gardai spoke to him at his mother's home and he was in a very agitated state and dressed all in black.

Gardai then spoke to his mother, who also had concerns about her son's state of mind. Gardai later returned to the house and were informed Lawlor had just left. Officers were so concerned an attack was imminent that they rang Rachel Kirwan to warn her and contacted the Armed Support Unit. The ASU was being briefed about the situation when gardai got a call to say the attack had taken place.

Rachel Kirwan initially gave statements against Lawlor in relation to threats she said he made about killing Mitchell. However, by the time the case came to trial she claimed she made up the threats and he was acquitted. Separate charges Lawlor faced in relation to an assault on Ms Kirwan were dropped.

Ms Kirwan was previously questioned by gardai on suspicion of withholding information in relation to a gun attack carried out by Lawlor in Darndale in 2008.

Anthony Ayodeji was in a car with a baby when Lawlor opened fire, shooting him five times. He survived the attack and Lawlor was never prosecuted in relation to the incident.

Ms Kirwan started going out with Lawlor in 2006 and had two children with him - but they subsequently broke up and she started seeing Mitchell in 2017.

Mitchell walked free from court this week after a judge gave him and co-accused Patrick Macken (34) 12-month suspended sentences for assisting another man in attempting to evade arrest by gardai.

The court was told Mitchell and Macken, from Macroom Road, Coolock, assisted Julian O'Connor by not stopping a van he was in the rear of when gardai sought to arrest him at Rosemount Avenue in Artane on March 12, 2015.

Gardai later found an imitation firearm and cable ties in the back of the van.


Derek Mitchell with slain Kane McCormack-Kirwan.

Derek Mitchell with slain Kane McCormack-Kirwan.

Derek Mitchell with slain Kane McCormack-Kirwan.


All three men were charged with possession of an imitation firearm and having tools with intent to carry out a burglary, but those charges were dropped against Mitchell and Macken.

Detective Garda Alan Monaghan told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, a garda operation was put in place which tracked the movement of a silver van. The van was intercepted in the Rosemount area of Artane.

Det Garda Monaghan said Mitchell and Macken both attempted to flee from the van, but were apprehended shortly thereafter. Julian O'Connor, from St Brigid's Road in Artane, was apprehended in the rear of the van while wearing two sets of clothes.

O'Connor subsequently pleaded guilty to possession of certain articles and possession of an imitation firearm and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2017.

Gardai believe they foiled a robbery by intercepting the van. A total of seven men were arrested and other items including balaclavas were received as part of the operation but four of the men were released without charge.

Mitchell has three previous convictions which were all for public order offences and is not considered a major criminal.

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