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Gardai say lone gunman killed drug dealer

Gardaí said today a lone gunman carried out the murder of a drug dealer who was shot dead outside a house in west Dublin last night.

The killing is the fifth gangland murder since the start of the year.

At a press briefing today near the scene of the murder in Melrose Park, Clondalkin, Supt John Quirke from Clondalkin Garda station said the victim and a second man were sitting in a silver Ford Focus in Melrose Park just after 8.30pm when the gunman walked up and shot him dead.

He discharged a number of shots from a handgun into the driver’s side of the car and wounded the victim a number of times. The victim lost control of the car, which was moving slowly at the time, and crashed it into a garden wall. The second man in the car at the time was not injured.

A number of local residents called gardai and two officers in a patrol car were on the scene in a matter of minutes. They gave CPR to the man until an ambulance arrived and brought him to Tallaght Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Supt Quirke said the gunman escaped across St Cuthbert’s Park towards Bawnogue and it was unclear if there was a vehicle waiting there. The Garda dog unit are carrying out searches of the park.

Sutp Quirke said: “We are appealing to anybody who was in the area at the time or who may have heard anything to contact Clondalkin Garda Station where we have an incident room.

Gardaí have not officially named the dead man but The Irish Times has established he was Michael Hendrick, a 36–year-old originally from Alpine Heights, in Clondalkin, not far from the crime scene. He has been living recently on the Northside of Dublin with his partner and two children.

“They’re very traumatised at the moment. We haven’t been able to interview her at all yet,” Supt Quirke added.

He refused to speculate on the motive for the killing and said detectives were awaiting the results of a post mortem, which is being carried out by State Pathologist Marie Cassidy in Tallaght Hospital.

The dead man was a drug user and had been a heroin addict. He was known to gardaí and was believed to have been a member of a drugs gang from Clondalkin that has been very active on the organised crime scene in the west of the city in recent years.

He had been implicated in at least one very significant drug seizure in recent years. In 2003 he was one of five men arrested in Kerry and Limerick when 100kg of cannabis, with an estimated street value of almost €1.3 million, was seized by gardaí.

The drugs were found when gardaí stopped and searched a vehicle in the Limerick village of Adare.

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