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‘Spotter’ for ‘murder gang’ who killed Eamon Kelly sentenced to life in prison

In 2009, a “murder gang” shot and killed seasoned criminal Eamon Kelly as he walked home in Dublin’s northside.

Father-of-nine Kelly, a well-known criminal figure who had been active in organised crime for almost four decades, was shot four times in the back as he headed towards his residence.

In November 2012, Darren Murphy (51) was found guilty of the murder of Eamon Kelly in Furry Park Road, Killester, Dublin 5.

Today, Justice Owens sentenced Murphy to life in prison, retroactive to November 1, 2021.

In her victim impact statement, Alison Kelly described her father’s murder as a “cowardly and senseless act” that left the Kelly family “devastated.”

Her family “idolised” her father, she added.

Alison Kelly described his death as a “immense void”.

Murphy, of George’s Place, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to his involvement as a “spotter” in Kelly’s murder.

Murphy was acquitted of possession of a Glock pistol with intent to endanger life on the same date and location.

The court also ruled there was “insufficient evidence” to prove his co-accused Kenneth Donohoe was the driver of the getaway car, that he carried a Glock handgun, or that he was part of the murder group.

Donohoe (43), of Hazelgrove, Tallaght, Dublin 24, pleaded not guilty to all charges in Kelly’s murder.

The evidence demonstrated “beyond any reasonable doubt” that Murphy was part of the murder gang that went out to kill Kelly.

The non-jury court found no alternative plausible explanation for Murphy’s actions that day, other than innocence or some involvement short of intent to murder.

Murphy was a “spotter” and part of the murder gang’s plan, said Justice Owens. “He operated in collaboration with them as the net closed in on Kelly and immediately after the shooting,” he added.

The gunman halted Kelly near an alleyway leading onto Furry Park Road from Dunluce Road, found Justice Owens, sitting with Judges Sinéad N Chlacháin and Dermot Dempsey.

The court heard that Kelly had taken this route from Howth Road.

“He used to stroll into Killester from his home in Furry Park Road and to a bookmaker on Dunseverick Road.

So a murder gang took advantage of it. He said that CCTV evidence showed gang members “scouting” in Killester in the afternoons leading up to and on the day of the murder.

Connolly was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 by the Special Criminal Court for Kelly’s murder.

on the day of the murder with other gang members.