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Gardai in front of the Ashling Holiday Park the day after the shooting. Eamonn Farrell/

Two arrested in investigation into 2019 Clogherhead caravan park murder

A number of bystanders had to run for cover to escape the gunfire.

TWO PEOPLE HAVE been arrested today in connection with the fatal shooting of Keith Branigan at a caravan park in Clogherhead, Co Louth in August 2019.

A woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s are currently being detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007, at Balbriggan and Drogheda Garda Stations. 

Branigan, who was 29 years old at the time, was working on decking at the front of a caravan when he was shot dead on 27 August just before 2.50pm.

The shooting was likely related to a feud taking place between rival gangs in Drogheda.

Speaking shortly after the shooting Garda Superintendent Andrew Watters, Drogheda, said it was “a particularly indiscriminate and callous act carried out in a very busy caravan park.”

“There were a lot of families, women with young children in particular close to the area of the shooting.”

“Indeed some of these children enjoying the last days of the Summer holidays, some were back to school today,” he added.

 He then said, “I want to clarify that this was not a drive-by shooting.”

“From our investigation to date we are satisfied a red Lexus car 05 C 24473 entered the caravan park, the gunman approached the deceased and fired a number of shots at him.”

“A number of stray shots caused damage to two cars in the vicinity in the car park as well.”

“The gunman then returned to the red Lexus car and we are satisfied that car turned left when it left the caravan park and travelled in the direction of Termonfeckin.”

The car was later found  burnt out at Whiteriver, on the Dunleer to Clogherhead road.

At masses in St Michael’s church in Carlingford and in St Finnian’s Church in Dillonstown the week after the shooting, Bishop Michael Router said he wanted to condemn the “callous murder” of the 29-year-old man. 

“Such violence and disregard for life is always appalling but for such an act to take place in a holiday camp where people were enjoying the last days of summer, and near to where children were playing, is truly shocking,” he said.