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Three men feared killed in head-on collision with lorry on N7 had links to burglary gang

Gardai believe that the men killed were three Tallaght men who were closely associated with a notorious burglary gang

nset from left, crash victims Dean Maguire, Karl Freeman and Graham Taylor

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

Gardai believe that the men killed in Wednesday night’s horrific road collision in Dublin are three Tallaght men who were closely associated with a notorious burglary gang.

None of the men have been formally identified due to the horrific injuries they sustained in the accident and it is understood that family members will be providing voluntary DNA to assist gardai with the identification process.

However, while the trio have not been formally identified by gardai, family members of the deceased men placed flowers at the scene of the accident yesterday on the N7 northbound carriageway between Citywest and Baldonnell in south Co Dublin.

Carl Freeman

Hundreds of tributes and messages of sympathy were also posted online on social media sites throughout yesterday.

The three Tallaght men who were known to gardai and had links to a notorious burglary gang operating on a national scale have been named as Graham Taylor (31) of KIltalown Park, Carl Freeman (26) of Rossfield Park and Dean Maguire (29) of Tree Park Drive – in the Dublin 24 suburb.

Flowers at the scene of the collision

All have numerous previous convictions and have served jail terms with Mr Taylor released from prison less than three months ago.

Last night gardai continued to appeal for information in the shocking case which resulted in the deaths of the three men when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a lorry as it drove the wrong way down the N7 near Rathcoole at 11.40pm on Wednesday.

Graham Taylor

This resulted in the car bursting into flames when it collided head-on with the truck on the northbound lane of the road.

Dean Maguire

The truck driver aged in his 40s is understood to have suffered “very serious” injuries to his legs which gardai described as non-life threatening and he was still being treated at University Hospital Tallaght last night.

Just minutes before the horror collision, gardai had observed the BMW car that the three men were travelling in driving erratically in the Tallaght area.

Emergency services at the scene of a fatal road crash involving a truck and a car overnight which occurred on the N7 at Junction 3, just before Rathcoole. Photo: Damien Storan.

The vehicle first came to garda attention after being spotted near the Cookstown Cottages area of Tallaght.

Gardaí became suspicious of the vehicle but when they signalled for the driver to stop, the car sped away.

A patrol vehicle gave chase and pursued the car along the Cheeverstown Road.

When the suspect car entered the N7 on the wrong-side of the dual carriageway, gardaí stopped pursuing the vehicle for safety reasons.

The BMW vehicle then crashed into a truck before bursting into flames and it is unserstood that the occupants were killed instantly.

Sources added that the driver of the vehicle was dressed as a pizza delivery driver and suspect this may have been a disguise to carry out burglaries or "scope out" properties undetected.

Post-mortems were carried out on the bodies of the three men at Dublin City Morgue yesterday afternoon.

Debris at the scene of a collision between a lorry and a car , which was driving in the wrong direction on the N7, between baldonnel and City West. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The collision is now the subject of two separate investigations – one being carried out by officers from Clondalkin Garda Station and the other by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

“Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information to contact them. In particular, any witnesses who may have seen a dark blue BMW 3 Series vehicle (06-D-47768) in the areas of Belgard, Citywest or the N7 between 11.15pm to 12.00am are asked to come forward,” a garda spokesman said.

GSOC also launched an appeal for information from potential witnesses.

“The matter was referred to GSOC by a Garda Superintendent under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. GSOC Designated Officers have been deployed to the scene and are currently examining the circumstances of the incident.

“GSOC would like to hear from any potential witnesses or anyone who may have dashcam or mobile footage from the area around the time of the incident,” a GSOC spokesman said.

Among the hundreds of messages posted on social media by friends of the three crash victims were: “Devastating .. thinking and praying for all the families” posted by one woman while another said “absolutely heartbreaking thinking of you all.”

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