List of major crimes in Ireland

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Major crimes in Ireland

Date Name Deaths Location Summary
1954 Murder of Catherine Cooper 1 Limerick, Ireland Catherine Cooper, a 65-year-old nurse, is murdered by Michael Manning while working at Barrington's Hospital. Manning is later tried and convicted of her murder becoming the last person to be publicly hanged in the Republic of Ireland.
1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings 33 Dublin & Monaghan, Ireland The Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974 were a series of car bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in Ireland. The attacks killed 33 civilians and wounded almost 300 – the highest number of casualties in any one day during the conflict known as the Troubles. 26 were killed in Dublin, 7 in Monaghan. A loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) conspiring with the British Army, claimed responsibility for the bombings in 1993. No-one has ever been charged with the attacks.
1979 Murder of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Nicholas Knatchbull, Paul Maxwell & Doreen Knatchbull, Baroness Brabourne 4 Mullaghmore, Co.Sligo Lord Mountbatten, a British statesman and naval officer, an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and second cousin once removed to Elizabeth II was assassinated by the IRA. Nicholas Knatchbull, his elder daughter's 14-year-old son; and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old crew member were killed in the blast. The Dowager Lady Brabourne was seriously injured in the explosion and died from her injuries the following day. Nicholas Knatchbull's mother and father & twin brother Timothy were seriously injured. Thomas McMahon was convicted of murder & was released as part of the Good Friday Agreement.
1982 Murders of Bridie Gargan and Dónal Dunne 2 Phoenix Park, Ireland Malcolm Edward MacArthur bludgeoned nurse Bridie Gargan to death while she was sunbathing in the Phoenix Park then stole her car. Three days later, he shot and killed farmer Dónal Dunne with his own shotgun before eventually being apprehended at the residence of then-Attorney General Patrick Connolly, where MacArthur had been staying as a houseguest for some time.
1983 O'Connor's jewellery heist - Harolds Cross, Dublin, Ireland Martin Cahill, a burglar and organized crime figure, leads a robbery against O'Connor's Jewelers successfully stealing $3,000,000 in jewelry.
1986 The Russborough House art robbery - County Wicklow, Ireland Martin Cahill and his gang steal 18 paintings valued at $30,000,000 from the Russborough House in May 1986.
Disappearance of Philip Cairns 1 Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland 13-year-old schoolboy Philip Cairns vanishes in broad daylight while walking back to school after lunch.
1995 Murder of Michael Crinnion 1 Cork City, Ireland Michael Crinnion, an enforcer for the O’Flynn crime family, was gunned down by a professional hitman outside the Clannad Bar in the city’s Barrack St area, acknowledged to be the first gangland killing to take place in Cork City in April 1995.
1996 Murder of Jerry McCabe 1 Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland Detective Garda Jerry McCabe was fatally shot by members of the Provisional IRA during an attempted robbery of a post office van. Pearse McAuley from Strabane and three County Limerick men – Jeremiah Sheehy, Michael O'Neill and Kevin Walsh – were convicted by the non-jury Special Criminal Court of manslaughter.
Murder of Tom Nevin 1 Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow Tom Nevin owner of Jack White's Inn in County Wicklow was fatally shot dead on 19 March 1996. His wife, Catherine Nevin, was convicted of the murder.
Murder of Veronica Guerin 1 Naas Dual Carriageway, outside Dublin, Ireland Veronica Guerin, a journalist investigating Irish drug traffickers, is shot five times and killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle while stopped at an intersection outside Dublin. A massive investigation later resulted in the arrest of over 150 suspects before the eventual extradition of drug trafficker Brian Meehan who was later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier 1 Cork, Ireland French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier is found beaten to death outside of her holiday home in Cork. Journalist Ian Bailey has been arrested twice in connection to the case, but has never been charged and the crime officially remains unsolved.
1998 Murder of Patrick Lawlor 1 Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland 18-year-old Patrick Lawlor was held responsible for losing a consignment of drugs which had been seized by Gardaí. He was shot and killed, his body not being recovered until 2002 when he was found buried along the canal.
1999 Murder of Raonaid Murray 1 Dún Laoghaire, Ireland Raonaid Murray, a 17-year-old girl from South Dublin, was stabbed to death in a laneway 50 yards from her home.
2000 Murder of Patrick Murray and Darren Carey 2 Kildare, Ireland In the early hours of New Year's Day, Patrick Murray (19) and Darren Carey (20) were shot and killed during a presumed drug-deal-gone-wrong before their bodies were dumped in the canal.
Murder of Nancy Nolan 1 Galway, Ireland Thomas Murray, a 37-year-old man on day release from prison where he was serving a sentence for fatally stabbing an old man named William Mannion when he was just 17, visits the home of his former schoolteacher, now-retired Nancy Nolan, and bludgeons her to death with a hammer.
Death of Brian Murphy 1 Dublin, Ireland Brian Murphy is beaten to death by a gang of young men outside of the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. Only four men are charged in connection with the crime, which draws considerable media attention due to the privileged backgrounds of those involved.
2001 Murder of Adrian Bestea 1 Dublin, Ireland A suitcase recovered from the Royal Canal was found to contain the body of a man, eventually identified as Romanian immigrant Adrian Bestea. Bestea's abused girlfriend, Marina Sourovtzeva, was arrested and charged in connection with his murder. She revealed that she had hired three Russian and Urkanian men (Igor Derjhack and Valentine Koreluvs) to beat up Bestea as revenge for his treatment of her, but Bestea was unintentionlly killed when struck over the head with a wheel brace. Sourovtzeva had been unable to report her abusive relationship to the Gardaí because she was an illegal immigrant.
Murder of Sister Philomena Lyons 1 County Monaghan, Ireland Sister Philomena Lyons is raped and strangled with her own scarf while waiting for a bus on the grounds of her convent in the early hours of the morning. Kealon Herron is arrested and charged with her murder.
2002 Murder of Alan Higgins 1 Coolock Dublin Ireland Teenager Alan Higgins is fatally stabbed by Christopher Dunne following an altercation between the two which also involved Dunne's friends Michael Maher and Anthony Whelan. The crime occurred on a pathway just outside of the UCI (now Odeon) complex where Higgins had spent the evening playing pool with his girlfriend at the Leisure Plex.
Murder of Brian Fitzgerald 1 Limerick, Ireland Brian Fitzgerald, a nightclub bouncer from Limerick city was fatally shot at his Corbally home in the early hours of 29 November 2002 after returning home from work. Fitzgerald who had no connections to the notorious Limerick feud was murdered after he refused to allow drug dealers – connected to the McCarthy-Dundon gang - access to Doc’s nightclub in Limerick. James Martin Cahill who was paid €10,000 for the killing & Gary Campion were sentenced to life in prison.
2003 Murder of Darragh Conroy 1 County Laois, Ireland Teenager Darren Goodwin plans to murder his father but changes his mind and instead attacks 14-year-old Darragh Conroy, hammering him to death in an empty field.
2004 Murder of Dolores McRea 1 County Donegal, Ireland Gary McRea strangles his wife Dolores and burns her body in his back garden.
Murder of Rachel O'Reilly 1 Naul, Co. Dublin Rachel O'Reilly, a 30-year-old mother of 2 was found fatally beaten in her Dublin home in 2004. Her husband Joe O'Reilly was convicted for the murder & is serving his sentence in Portlaoise Prison.
2005 Death of Robert Holohan 1 County Cork, Ireland Robert Holohan disappears in January 2005 after going out for a bike ride. His body is found eight days later, Robert having been killed by neighbour and friend, 20-year-old student Wayne O'Donoghue.
The Scissor Sisters case 1 Dublin, Ireland Linda and Charlotte Mulhall stabbed and dismembered their mother's boyfriend, Kenyan immigrant Frah Swaleh Noor.
2006 Murder of Denis Donaldson 1 Classey, Glenties, Co. Donegal Denis Donaldson, a volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a member of Sinn Féin was murdered following his exposure in December 2005 as an informer of MI5 and the Special Branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It was initially believed that the Provisional IRA were responsible for his killing although the Real IRA claimed responsibility for his murder almost three years later.
2007 Murder of Manuela Riedo 1 Galway, Ireland Manuela Riedo, a 17-year-old student from Switzerland was murdered by Gerald Barry. The Swiss student had only arrived in Galway 3 days before she was murdered. Barry was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
2008 Murder of Shane Geoghegan 1 Limerick, Ireland Shane Geoghegan, a 28-year-old Limerick native was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity. The murder coincided with an escalation in gangland violence between rival gangs in an ongoing Limerick feud. Twenty-three-year-old Barry Doyle from Portland Row, Dublin was charged with the murder and sentenced to life in prison. John Dundon from Limerick City, was also charged with the murder & sentenced to life in prison in 2012
Operation Seabight - County Cork, Ireland Seizure of up to €750 million of cocaine off the West Cork coast in November 2008. A 60-foot (18 m) yacht containing more than seventy bales of the substance was seized by a team of European anti-drugs agencies led by the Irish authority forces. Three men were also apprehended and later each was sentenced to ten years in jail.
Death of Celine Cawley 1 Howth, Ireland During a violent argument, Eamonn Lillis fatally strikes his wife Celina Cawley with a brick at their home in Howth. Cawley was a former model who had appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill.
2009 Murder of Roy Collins 1 Limerick, Ireland Roy Collins, a 35-year-old Limerick native was gunned down at the family owned business in April 2009. Collins who had no involvement in the ongoing Limerick feud was targeted after giving evidence against known Limerick criminals following an earlier incident. The murder prompted Roy's father, Steve to campaign for tougher laws to deal with gangland violence in Ireland. Wayne Dundon & Nathan Killeen, both from Limerick, have been charged with the murder. The Collins family have since fled Limerick under a witness protection programme.
Bank of Ireland robbery - College Green branch of the Bank of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland 7.6 million is stolen in a tiger kidnapping from a branch of the Bank of Ireland. So far seven people have been arrested and €4 million of the stolen money found scattered throughout Dublin.
2010 Murder of James Kenny McDonagh 1 Dublin, Ireland James Kenny McDonagh went missing. His body was discovered in a shallow grave in the Dublin Mountains two years later. He had been shot in the back of the head in a presumed gangland murder.
2012 Murder of Elaine O'Hara 1 Remains found in Kilakee, near Dublin Mountains, Ireland Architect Graham Dwyer lured childcare worker Elaine O'Hara to a local park and stabbed her to death. Her body was discovered by a dogwalker in the Dublin Mountains almost a year later.
2013 Death of Dean Fitzpatrick 1 Dublin, Ireland Dean Fitzpatrick, brother of the missing Amy Fitzpatrick was stabbed to death by his own stepfather Dave Mahon.
Murder of Adrian Donohoe 1 Bellurgan, Jenkinstown County Louth, Ireland Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot by an armed gang of five men during a robbery on a credit union while on duty. Donohoe & his colleague Detective Garda Joe Ryan were on a routine two-person cash escort on the evening of his murder. The suspects are believed to be part of a large criminal gang with links to illegal Republican paramilitary and terror organisations, operating in the border region. No charges have yet been brought, the investigation is ongoing.
Murder of Christopher Gaffney 1 Co. Meath, Ireland Drug dealer Christopher Gaffney was stabbed and dismembered in a suspected gangland killing. His body parts were discovered on farmland in Clonee.
Murder of Jack & Tommy Blaine 2 Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland Brothers Jack & Tommy Blaine, were found dead following a violent attack in their Castlebar home in July 2013. Twenty-six-year-old Alan Cawley was arrested & charged with the double murder.
2015 Murder of Mark Burke 1 Ballyfermot, Dublin, Ireland Homeless man Mark Burke's dismembered remains were found in a recycling plant.
Murder of Tony Golden 2 Omeath, County Louth A dissident republican shot a Garda and a civilian before shooting himself. He died along with the Garda.
2016 Murder of Kenneth O'Brien 1 Kildare, Ireland The dismembered corpse of Kenneth O'Brien was found in a suitcase recovered from the Grand Canal. Paul Wells was arrested for his murder, with Wells' son being charged with helping his father to dispose of the chainsaw used in the killing.
Regency Hotel shooting 1 Santry, Dublin A gangland shooting. One person was killed, two wounded when gunmen disguised as Gardaí entered the Regency Hotel and opened fire.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kerrigan, Gene. Hard Cases: True Stories of Irish Crime. Gill & Macmillan, 2005. ISBN 978-0-7171-3862-3

References[edit]