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The Criminal Courts of Justice building in Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo
Special Criminal Court

Partner of innocent man shot dead by Kinahan gang tells court he was 'murdered for no good reason'

She said Noel Kirwan was killed because he was photographed walking to the funeral of life-long neighbour, Eddie Hutch.

THE PARTNER OF an innocent man who was shot dead by the Kinahan crime organisation has said that her “soulmate had his life extinguished” because he was photographed walking to the funeral of life-long neighbour, Eddie Hutch.

Bernadette Roe also revealed that she was in the car beside her partner Noel Kirwan when he was shot dead outside their home.

She said she still feels terrified at any bang or crash she hears and often rubs the area of her head where he “banged off” her when one of the shots hit his body.

Mr Kirwan’s daughter Donna told senior cartel member Declan Brady and his co-defendants that if they had the intelligence to do their “homework”, they would have realised that her dad was an innocent man.

Gardai have said repeatedly that Noel Kirwan was not involved in criminality in any way. 

It is understood he was targeted by the Kinahans due to the false belief that he might be linked to the Hutch organisation.

Eddie Hutch was a brother of Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Gerard Hutch was acquitted last year of the murder of a senior Kinahan cartel member at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Brady is already serving 11 and a half years in prison, after he admitted supervising a firearms arsenal, as well as a sentence of seven years and three months for laundering hundreds of thousands of euro in crime cash.

At a sentencing hearing today, the Special Criminal Court heard details of Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady’s involvement in facilitating Mr Kirwan’s murder.

The court heard that Brady and another man were linked to a tracking device that was attached to Mr Kirwan’s car to monitor his movements up to the time when he was shot dead outside his home.

Det Supt Mark O’Neill told prosecution counsel Dominic McGinn SC that Brady and another man were seen on CCTV entering and leaving the Beacon South Quarter apartment complex in Sandyford in Dublin where a computer was being used to communicate with the tracking device.

The device was initially attached to a BMW that Mr Kirwan owned but then sold a short time before the shooting.

Brady was caught on CCTV in the vicinity of the car dealership at the time when the tracking device was removed from that BMW to be placed a short time later on Mr Kirwan’s new car, a Ford Mondeo.

Mr Kirwan was in the driver seat of that Ford Mondeo when he was shot six times on 22 December, 2016 at St Ronan’s Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

Following Mr Kirwan’s murder, gardai entered the apartment at Beacon South Quarter and found the laptop used to communicate with the tracker and an instruction manual linked to the device by a unique serial number. 

A toothbrush was taken from the apartment and analysis revealed DNA matching Brady.

Under cross-examination, Det Supt O’Neill agreed with defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC that Brady’s DNA was not found on the laptop.

He said gardai are not in a position to say who was using the laptop to communicate with the tracker and there is “no evidence Brady owned or was operating the laptop”.

Supt O’Neill agreed that Brady may not have been aware of the specific purpose for which the tracker was being used although he would have been able to work out that it was in the furtherance of a serious criminal offence and that a person was being targeted.

The detective also agreed that Brady is a model prisoner, is housed in the progression unit for enhanced prisoners at Mountjoy and has dissociated himself from all those involved in the criminal group.

The hearing was adjourned to 30 April to allow a probation report to be prepared for the court. 

Mr O’Higgins, defending, said that his client has had a “significant period of reflection” in custody and has disassociated from organised crime.

He said he will be making the case that there is “a reset button here” and told the court that a probation report would be helpful in determining an appropriate sentence.


Brady, of Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court in July 2019 to supervising a firearms arsenal including an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition that had been stashed in a Dublin business park.

He was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison with the final year suspended for that offence.

While in prison in 2021, Brady pleaded guilty to laundering more than €400,000 in crime cash through multiple bank accounts in 2017.

He was sentenced to eight years and three months with the final year suspended, in a term which was to run from April 2021.


Ms Roe’s and Donna’s statements were read to the court by Maddie Grant BL.
Donna referred to Brady by his name throughout, telling him that he and his friends had planned to kill a 62-year-old innocent grandfather.

“You had plenty of time to change your mind,” she said. “What did they give you for it? Was it worth it?”

She said that one day Brady’s sentence will be over and he will walk free. “We will never get to do that because we will live in torment forever.”

She said that if Brady and his friends “had the intelligence between the lot of you to do your homework, you would have realised he was an innocent man.”

The tracking device planted on Mr Kirwan’s car was there when Ms Kirwan and her child were driving around shopping for Christmas presents. 

“Would you have had him murdered with us in the car?” she asked.

She said that there won’t be any justice because “nothing will bring our dad back, no sentence would be enough”.

Ms Roe said her soulmate and best friend was “murdered senselessly and for no good reason” and her life was “horrifically and devastatingly changed forever”.

She said she feels angry and cheated of the future that she and Noel planned together.

She said she still sees the horror in the faces of the younger members of the family who came after hearing the shots being fired.

One, who “cradled Noel in her arms as he was dying”, has never been the same since, she said.

“My love, my soulmate, had his life extinguished all because he was pictured by the press walking to the funeral of a life-long neighbour.”

“He was a good man,” she said.

“He was very kind and loved to help others in need. He loved to call into his elderly neighbours to see if they needed anything and he would stop in to wash their windows every two weeks.”

Bernadette was sitting in the car when her husband was shot.

She said any bang or crash is terrifying to her and she still rubs the area of her head that he banged off when one of the shots hit his body.

Brady (57) pleaded guilty earlier this year that between 20 October, 2016 and 22 December, 2016, within the State and with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation did participate in, or contribute by activity, or by being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence: to wit the murder of Christopher (aka Noel) Kirwan, contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal justice Act.