Was Lucan murder victim lured to his death by someone he trusted?

by Padraig Conlon

The man whose body was discovered in a burning car in Lucan on Monday has been named as 42-year-old Wayne Whelan.

He was last seen on Monday afternoon, just hours before the brutal suspected gangland murder at Mount Andrew Rise.

Whelan, of Griffeen Glen Park, was discovered dead after his car was found on fire by Dublin Fire Brigade.

His body was discovered in the passenger seat of the car after the fire brigade extinguished the blaze at 8.15pm on Monday night.

Gardai believe the deceased had been meeting with someone he trusted when he was killed.

Whelan had survived an attempted hit on his life in September when 10 bullets were fired through his windscreen, hitting him in the chest, arms in Griffeen Glen Park.

He survived by crawling out of the driver’s door and fleeing to a nearby house where he collapsed.

Following this shooting, which left Whelan with serious injuries, a 40-year-old man was charged with the attempted murder and remains on remand.

Addressing reporters outside Lucan Garda Station on Wednesday, Superintendent Paul Dolan (pictured below) appealed for any information about a navy Toyota Corolla that may have been used in the killing.

“All I can say at this stage is we are following a specific line of enquiry,” he said.

“The car itself was a navy Toyota Corolla reg 05-CW-2225.

“This car was sold on 13th November this year and today I’m appealing to any person who has seen this car or knows of its whereabouts since 13th November I’m asking them to contact investigating gardai.

“I’m appealing to any person in the Mount Andrew Estate who has seen this vehicle or anything suspicious in or around the time of this incident on Monday night to contact Gardaí in Lucan Garda Station on 01 666 7300 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”

Local Fine Gael Councillor Emer Higgins condemned Monday’s suspected murder and moved to reassure the local community that the Gardaí are acting swiftly to investigate.

“I strongly condemn the incident in Lucan last night and I spoke directly with my Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan about it early this morning,” she said.

“I am informed that the Gardaí have launched a full-scale investigation and I welcome the speed with which they set this up. Minister Flanagan has assured me that Gardaí are doing everything possible to investigate this very serious and frightening incident.

“I know he appreciates the gravity of the situation and I’ve made him aware of the concern and fear locally.

“The Minister for Justice has assured me he will keep me up to date on any developments. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at Lucan Garda Station.”

Fianna Fáil Councillor Shane Moynihan also spoke of his shock at the events of Monday night.

 “I was horrified to hear of the violent incident last night which has seen someone lose their life.

“The Gardaí believe this was a suspected shooting and it has brought shock to our community.

 “I am very familiar with Mount Andrew where this incident took place. This estate is home to many young families with children.

 “Any crime, but particularly violent crime like this is unacceptable. We will not tolerate it in our community.

 “Communities across Dublin Mid-West can clearly see that crime is getting out of hand, but Government inaction, spurred on by their rapidly worsening response to drug fuelled gangland crimes means the situation risks spiralling completely out of control.

 “Families in Dublin Mid-West don’t need yet another announcement by Government promising an increase in Garda numbers. We must stop governing by press release and start getting these Gardai on to the streets of Dublin Mid-West.”

Labour Lucan Cllr Joanna Tuffy criticised the Government for “failure to control gangland crime.”

“The discovery last night in Mount Andrew Rise of the body of a man, found in a burning car is the latest shocking incident in the Lucan area,” she said.

“This violent killing must be tackled as young families and children should not see this happening on their doorsteps.

“I condemn this latest incident, but it highlights the ability of criminals to act with impunity. Parents are having to explain these violent acts that is happening on their streets to their children.

“We saw in 2016 and 2017 a series of violent killings in the Lucan and Clondalkin area so these latest attacks are the latest in a long line of criminality. 

“Local communities are deeply concerned at these escalating attacks. It is time to take on the growing number of gun shootings by committing the resources to tackle this once and for all.

“Continually insisting these incidents are an operational matter for the Gardaí is insulting to the communities who need protection. The Government must be seen to respond.”

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