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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 20 January 2022

Two brothers found guilty of murder of gunman while father is acquitted

Dean and Jason Bradley have been found guilty of the murder of Neil Reilly.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

TWO BROTHERS HAVE been found guilty of murdering a gunman who fired at their home while their father has walked free after being acquitted of the same crime.

Dean Bradley (24) and Jason Bradley (20) were found guilty by a unanimous jury verdict following more than nine hours of deliberations of the murder of Neil Reilly.

Members of the Bradley family, including a third brother Ryan (18), who was acquitted of the murder charge earlier in the trial, cried when the verdicts were read out.

Ryan left the courtroom, threw himself against a wall and tore at his shirt.

Dad Paul Bradley (54), who was acquitted of murder by the five men and six women of the jury, consoled Dean and Jason as Justice Paul Coffey refused bail and remanded them in custody until a sentencing hearing next Wednesday, when the victim’s family will be given an opportunity to speak.

Ryan Bradley will also have a sentence hearing on that date, having pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation into Neil Reilly’s death following his acquittal on the murder charge.

Both Dean and Jason, of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22 face mandatory life sentences having been convicted of the murder of Neil Reilly (36) at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin on 18 January 2017.

Evidence heard

The court heard that the Bradleys got to know Neil Reilly through his son Dean. Dean became best friends with Ryan and Jason and when his father went to prison for drug dealing, Dean became a regular visitor to the Bradley household.

He was welcomed in, he regularly ate dinner there and got to know the whole family. When his dad was soon to get out of prison Dean asked Paul Bradley if he would give his dad a job at the Bradley garage on the Naas Road.

Paul agreed and Neil worked as a mechanic for him for a short time. But, according to Dean’s evidence, Jason had amassed a debt of €9,000 to Neil Reilly, who started demanding his money in more and more threatening ways.

In his evidence Dean accepted that his dad had a conviction for possession of drugs for supply and that the debt could have been for drugs, but added that he did not know for sure what the debt was for.

On one occasion, Neil called to the hotel where Jason worked, “to put a word on him” in Dean’s words. In December 2016 Reilly broke into the Bradley home armed with a garden shears.

CCTV cameras inside the house showed him entering with two other men and going directly upstairs where he switched the CCTV system off. They ransacked the house and stole Paul Bradley’s passport.

That was about one month before Neil Reilly planned and carried out his attack on the Bradley home. He drove to Liscarne Gardens in a white van followed by an accomplice in a Mazda.

‘Go after them in that car’

He fired two shots that hit the house, smashing one of the front windows. Reilly drove off in the white van and after a short distance he abandoned the van, threw the gun over a garden wall and got into the Mazda.

Meanwhile, Dean Bradley was driving around the area in his BMW with then 17-year-old Ryan as his passenger.

Paul Bradley was in his SUV with Jason. After some minutes CCTV shows that Paul Bradley had turned towards home and called gardai to report that shots had been fired at his house. By chance, at that moment he passed the Mazda with Neil Reilly in the passenger seat.

Jason recognised the driver and can be heard on the 999 call telling his dad: “Go after them in that car,” and, “Put up that phone and go after them. Go after them.”

CCTV footage showed Paul Bradley’s jeep chasing the Mazda at speed towards Esker Glebe where, Paul Bradley revealed during the trial, the Mazda crashed.

The Bradley jeep crashed into the now stationary Mazda, spinning it so that it faced the wrong direction on the road. Both Jason and Paul got out while Reilly’s accomplice escaped on foot. Reilly and Jason fought.

In the struggle Jason suffered a deep cut to his hand which would later require medical treatment. But he overpowered Neil Reilly and used a sharp weapon to beat him to death.

Two blows to his head caused skull fractures and lacerations to the brain. A pathologist would later find seven chop wounds in total, all of them severe and potentially fatal.

The weapon has not been found.

As Reilly lay in the road Dean Bradley’s BMW arrived on the scene. He drove over Neil Reilly, causing crush injuries to the pelvis that the pathologist said could have been fatal on their own and contributed to death.

While Dean claimed this was an accident, caused by his poor eyesight, one witnesses said she saw his car reverse and then drive forward over Reilly a second time.

Another witness said he wasn’t 100pc sure, but he thought it reversed and then drove over him a second time while a third, Danielle Cusack said Dean’s BMW struck and ran over Reilly three times.

She said following the first collision two men picked him up and held him just long enough so that the car could reverse into him. It then drove forward going over him a third time, she said.


In Dean Bradley’s defence, his lawyer argued that he ran over the deceased by accident and should be either acquitted or convicted of manslaughter if the jury decided that his driving was grossly negligent.

Jason Bradley’s counsel argued that he should be found guilty of manslaughter and not murder as he was so provoked by Reilly’s intimidation tactics and the shooting that he had lost all self control when he inflicted the fatal blows.

Paul Bradley said he did nothing more than chase the deceased and kick him while he was fighting with Jason. This, his lawyer argued, did not amount to murder and to find him guilty would be to blame him for his son’s actions.

Ryan was acquitted by the trial judge on the basis that there was no evidence he got out of Dean Bradley’s car or took any part in the assault on Neil Reilly. In the absence of the jury he pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation.

The three brothers will return to the Central Criminal Court next Wednesday.

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About the author:

Eoin Reynolds

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