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'Godfather' of drug gang shot in Dublin

Police search the scene of the shooting in Dublin.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out on the body of one of Ireland's most notorious drug dealers who died after a shooting in Dublin.

Wednesday, 05 December 2012
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Convicted drug dealer Eamon Kelly was gunned down close to his home in north Dublin on Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly, a 65-year-old career criminal dubbed the 'Godfather', previously escaped an attempt on his life in 2010 when his attacker's gun jammed.

A motive for the latest shooting, on Furry Park Road in Killester, will focus on a bloody dispute between crime gangs and the Real IRA in north Dublin.

The leader of the terrorist group, Alan Ryan, was murdered in September in a daylight gun attack.

Kelly was found with serious injuries on a footpath and rushed to Beaumont hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect arrested by unarmed Gardaí near the scene is believed to be a close associate of Ryan and is considered one of the Real IRA's most senior operators in Dublin.

The 32-year-old from south Dublin was previously jailed for Real IRA membership and his gang is suspected of being involved in a spate of shootings and pipe bomb attacks.

He is being quizzed by Gardaí in Clontarf, where he can be held for up to three days.

A black Lexus car, 96 D 27994, was found partially burnt out at Stiles Court, Clontarf, a cul de sac at the rear ofClontarf Cricket and Rugby Club.

Kelly was jailed for 14 years in the 1990s for possession of a kilo of cocaine and was sentenced for assaulting a Workers Party member in the late 1980s.

In recent years he has been portrayed as a close associate and confidant of ruthless gang leader and drugs boss Eamonn 'The Don' Dunne, who was shot dead in a pub in Cabra, north Dublin, in 2010.

But the father of nine is said to have cut his teeth as an armed robber working with the IRA in the 1980s, raising money for the paramilitary group.

He is the 15th gun murder victim so far this year.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have noticed the black Lexus in the area to contact them.