Gardai may have Griffeen gunman on suspect hitlist

by Ian Begley

LOCALS are in shock after the brutal murder of notorious criminal Mark Desmond on Friday night – many of them even heard the gun shots from their homes.

The gangster, who was nicknamed “The Guinea Pig”, was shot six times in Griffeen Valley Park in Lucan after he was lured there for what he thought was a drug deal, in a vicious double cross.

Cllr William Lavelle said that locals he has spoken to are “extremely shocked and upset” that such a violent murder occurred so close to where they live.

“I have spoken directly to residents from the Griffeen Glen and Elm estates and they cannot believe that this has happened so close to home. Some of them actually heard the gunshots but thought they were just fireworks.

“2016 saw a lot of gangland murders, but to have one happen so close to where you live is very upsetting,” he said.

“That park is the heart of our community; thousands of people use it every day.”

The Fianna Gail councillor said that there is a “general feeling of shock and fear” in the area which was made even more apparent when locals weren’t allowed to access the park on Saturday morning.

“People are upset that the good name of Lucan has been dragged down by this, and to be associated with such a notorious criminal,” he added.

Cllr Danny O’Brien (SF) echoed Cllr Lavelle, saying that many residents have expressed their shock to him too.

Cllr O’Brien said that residents hope that this incident doesn’t “attract more anti-social behaviour” to Griffeen Park and the surrounding area.

“The general feeling among locals is just amazement,” he said.

“It’s a very quiet area and there is often some anti-social behaviour – some kids started small fires in the park recently – but nothing to this extent.”

Mark Desmond was charged with the horrific “canal murders” of Patrick Murray, 19, and Darren Carey, 20, in 1999, only to have the charges dropped by the DPP the following year.

The latest development in the case is the discovery of a second firearm left behind at the scene in a grassy area near a burning blue Mazda 6 at Hayden’s Lane in Lucan.

Gardai confirmed that they are examining both of the recovered guns and that investigations are ongoing.

Cllr Liona O’Toole (NP) said she was “horrified” to hear of the ruthless killing that took place last weekend in her neighbouring park.

She said: “I actually grew up living beside the person who was shot. I also knew the two boys who he was suspected of murdering by the Grand Canal over 20 years ago.

“As a member of the Joint Policing Committee for South Dublin County Council, I have continually pushed for CCTV to be implemented in Lucan particularly in our parks.

“I am also aware that Lucan does not currently get sufficient level of gardai as it is considered to be a quieter area compared to other parts of West Dublin.

“This belief has led to a severe under-resourcing of gardai in Lucan.”

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