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'The good name of the area is being dragged down': Four months, four murders in west Dublin estates

There is concern in the area about the level of violent crime in recent months.

IN THE SPACE OF four months in west Dublin, four men have been violently murdered.

The most recent was that of 36-year-old Neil Reilly, who was savagely assaulted at Eskar Glebe in Lucan in the early hours of Wednesday morning. His murder followed a shooting incident in the Liscarne Gardens area of Clondalkin which happened shortly beforehand, though no one was injured.

A number of cars left the scene and rammed Reilly’s car. He was then beaten, run over with a car and stabbed.

Locals have expressed shock at the level of brutality displayed by the gang that murdered the 36-year-old and concern about a surge in serious crime in the area in recent months.

Robert Ellis

On Halloween night last year, 24-year-old Robert Ellis was chased from a bonfire at St Mark’s estate by a gang and stabbed to death in the back garden of a house in Liscarne Gardens – where shots were fired at a house on the morning Neil Reilly was killed this week.

Ellis, who had become a father for the first time just months before he was killed, had been shot in the stomach in an attempt on his life the year before. His then pregnant girlfriend was also shot in the arm during this attack. The 24-year-old had been warned by gardaí ahead of his murder that his life was in danger.

In December a man in his 20s was arrested in connection with the young man’s murder, though no one has been charged.

Mark Desmond

In early December, Mark Desmond (41) was shot dead in the Griffeen Valley Park area of Lucan.

He was a well-known criminal, previously arrested over the murder of two men in an incident known as the ‘Canal Murders’, though murder charges were later dropped. He had also been questioned over rape allegations made by a 15-year-old boy and was linked to a number of murders.

The park Desmond was murdered in is just a short walk from the scene of Reilly’s murder this week.

Noel Kirwan

A close associate of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, 62-year-old Noel Kirwan is the latest victim in the feud between the rival Dublin gangs.

Three days before Christmas, Kirwan was in a car with his partner on St Ronan’s Drive in Clondalkin when a gunman approached and opened fire. He was fatally injured.

Sources have said the 62-year-old had driven Hutch to his brother Eddie’s funeral in February and that he had been warned of a threat against him in the weeks before he was killed.

Neil Reilly

A convicted drug dealer, 36-year-old Reilly had served time in prison and was known to gardaí for other offences like burglary.

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Superintendent Dermot Mann told reporters at the scene of the man’s murder that Reilly had sustained “substantial injuries” in the assault by at least five men. He was beaten, run over with a car and stabbed. Gardaí have received reports of knives and machetes being used in the attack.

Local councillor William Lavelle said people in the Lucan and Clondalkin areas are “shocked and annoyed” at the level of violent crime there in recent months.

“The good name of the area is being dragged down,” he told

To be beaten up, stabbed, slashed, run over – all on a public road – it’s just horrific.

Councillor Liona O’Toole also spoke of violent incidents in the area “happening quietly for sometime”, but said now it had started “spilling out onto the streets”.

“I was just thinking about it last night, it’s shocking, the level of violence used against each of these individuals – it’s horrendous. It’s an affront to the whole of society to have that level of violence used against people. It’s tantamount to violence against society itself and the communities, the people who live here,” TD Gino Kenny told

For these people, life is cheap. It’s a worrying trend now, this grotesque amount of violence. We can never get used to it, but in some ways it has become normalised, though it’s abnormal in a decent society that four man can be killed in that way.

Kenny said he was worried, in particular, about young people in his constituency, growing up in an area that has had four murders in such a short space of time.

“When they’re surrounded by it, they’re not afraid to use violence themselves. It doesn’t mean every young person will do it, but it definitely has an impact on them and you’d be fearful about what the next generation classes as normal,” he said.

Local representatives have been urging the community to help gardaí track down those responsible for theses crimes.

“Justice has to be served, if it’s not then we will have a breakdown in society,” Kenny said.

“Despite the concentration of murders happening here, the community is much stronger, they have more humanity than the inhumanity of the people who murdered these men. They’ll never win.”

Read: Lucan murder victim may have been stabbed and run over with car>

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