We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The scene following the shooting in December 2016 Sam Boal via
Victim Impact Statement

Daughter of murdered Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan: 'We'll never get our heads around this nightmare'

Kirwan was sitting in his car on 22 December 2016 when he was shot six times with a Makarov handgun.

THE DAUGHTER OF Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan who was murdered in the driveway of his Dublin home has told the Special Criminal Court that the “only thing” her dad was guilty of was “showing his respect” at a childhood friend’s funeral.

“People like this should remember it’s not the people who are killed that suffer it’s the families who are left behind,” she said.

Donna Kirwan described her dad as a “grafter” and said that while some of his friends chose to make money the easy way by selling drugs, her father chose to work for a living because that was how he was raised.

The three-judge court also heard that Kirwan’s son and daughter talked about ending their lives in the aftermath of their father’s death because neither of them could see another way out of the pain and suffering.

The testimony was heard as part of a victim impact statement read by a woman from victim support on behalf of Donna Kirwan to the court during Jason Keating’s sentence hearing today.

The non-jury court also heard that the defendant Jason Keating was present at the scene of the shooting in Clondalkin, had a role of “real significance” and had facilitated the man who discharged the firearm. A ‘Gotek7’ tracking device was put under Kirwan’s car in the weeks leading up to his killing and this could be linked to Keating in the days preceding the murder.


Kirwan was sitting in his new Ford Mondeo car on 22 December 2016 when a gunman shot him six times with a Makarov handgun which was later recovered at the scene.

The 62-year-old, a “long-time” friend of Gerry “the Monk” Hutch, suffered eight gunshot wounds in total to his head, right arm, chest and abdomen. The murder of Kirwan arose from a “notorious feud” between two criminal factions but the deceased had no connection with either side.

Jason Keating (27), of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin admitted last month to participating in or contributing to activity intending to facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, namely the murder of Kirwan at St Ronan’s Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 between 20 and 22 December 2016, both dates inclusive.

The offence is contrary to organised crime legislation brought in by Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Keating was originally tried for the murder of Kirwan but midway through his trial on 18 October he pleaded guilty to facilitating a criminal organisation in committing murder and this plea was accepted by the DPP.

Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, asked the court to enter a “nolle prosequi” on the original charge of murder. This means the State will not be proceeding with the prosecution in relation to the count of murder.

Greene said today that the activities by the criminal organisation can be traced back to early November 2016 but Keating’s individual contribution began on 20 December.

‘Worst nightmare’

Donna Kirwan, Kirwan’s daughter, said in her victim impact statement today that 22 December started off as a normal day for the family but it turned into their “worst nightmare”.

Kirwan said she was expecting a call from her father that day but instead she received a call on his phone from Bernadette’s daughter, Carolyn, who sounded in a state of panic and told her she had to come straight out to Clondalkin as Noel had been shot.

I just remember screaming for somebody to help and a man who works on my floor came running towards me, he grabbed his keys and we ran to his car.

“I felt like we were in traffic for hours because everyone was out doing their Christmas shopping. I rang Carolyn back on my dad’s phone and she said they were working on him in the ambulance,” she said.

Kirwan said she jumped from the car when they arrived at the scene and began screaming asking people to tell her dad that she was there.

“I asked them where my dad was and Carolyn said ‘I’m so sorry Donna he didn’t make it’. I couldn’t take in what she was saying to me. I begged the policemen to let me see him but they said they were sorry that they couldn’t,” she said.

Kirwan said she was carried into a neighbour’s house and told not to look to her left as her dad was lying on the ground. “They just kept saying don’t look”, she remarked.

“I remember standing there later on watching his body being removed from the scene.

The pain I felt that night will never leave me. I kept asking people over and over is this really happening, is this real?

“I remember thinking in the middle of it all how am I going to tell Kristopher, my brother who lives in Manchester, how will he react and how will I get him home,” the court heard.

‘Coming home to identify his father’s body’

Kirwan said Kristopher was in work waiting to finish his job for the Christmas holidays when he received a message from a friend to call him straight away.

“When his friend told him, he laughed and said my dad’s a 62-year-old man who would want to shoot him, you must be mistaken. It was then he called me and asked if it was true, I will never forget his screams for as long as I live,” said Kirwan.

Kirwan said she organised a lift to pick her brother up from the airport the following day but the airport was full of people being greeted by family members coming home for Christmas.

“My brother was coming home to identify his father’s body,” she said.

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve that Kirwan got to see her father in the morgue.

“The guilt we felt that day having to leave him there. We made our way from there to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre to pick the last of my sons Christmas toys up,” she said.

What was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year for my family was like being in a horror film for us, painting smiles on our faces trying to make the day as special as we could for my little boy who had just been told the day before that his grandad had died, trying to shield him from the true facts of what had happened knowing it was going to be all over the papers.

Kirwan said her brother managed to make a Christmas dinner but they felt too guilty to eat it.

“Instead we sat looking at each other in complete and utter shock,” she said.

“This was the first Christmas in eight years since my Mam’s passing that we were all looking forward to,” she said.

Instead of ringing in the new year with her neighbours, she and her brother were inside looking at her father in a coffin saying their final goodbyes.

Kirwan said she knows what losing a parent feels like as they lost their mother ten years ago to cancer but this pain was different.

“This pain was unbearable, so unbearable that we both sat down and talked about ending both our lives because neither of us could see another way out of this pain and suffering,” she said.

“But then we thought, how could we inflict such pain on our loved ones when we know too well what it feels like. Our dad was all we had, he was our friend and our safety net, he was supposed to walk me down the aisle one day.”

‘He was a very kind man’ 

Growing up her father always had two jobs, she said, and he worked morning and night to make sure his family had everything they needed and never went without.

“He would give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. He was a very kind man who would give you the clothes off his back if he thought you needed them,” she said.

“We have been stripped of everything. We are a shell of the people we both once were. It has destroyed us.

We struggle to close our eyes at night without visualising what went on that night and what he felt in those last moments. We will never get our heads around this nightmare.

The court heard that Bernadette Roe had also prepared a victim impact statement but asked for it not to be read aloud and instead be handed into the court to be considered by the three judges.

Justice Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Sinead Ni Chualachain and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded Keating in custody until 12 December, when he will be sentenced.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.