Carrigaline, Co. Cork: Post Mortem Due On Murder Victim ‘Darren Falsey: UPDATED

4 Aug


Speculation €100k was demanded just days before murder

UP to €100,000 in protection money may have been demanded from an unemployed father-of-two in the days before he was gunned down outside his rented home in Co Cork on Wednesday.

Gardaí investigating the murder of suspected major drug dealer, Darren Falsey, believe it’s too early to say if he was killed by dissident republicans because he refused to pay them “protection money”.

However, it is believed the 36-year-old, shot in the hallway of his rented home in Carrigaline, was threatened some weeks ago that he risked being harmed if he didn’t pay up.

Gardaí won’t comment on speculation that up to €100,000 had been demanded from Mr Falsey who detectives believe had been a major player in the drugs distribution market in Cork for a number of years — although he had no previous convictions for dealing.

There are unsubstantiated claims that Falsey was also sent a bullet in the post a few days before he died.

However, senior garda sources have confirmed that as part of the investigation they are looking at the possibility that Real IRA members may be behind the brutal killing.

“All possibilities, including subversives, are being investigated,” a senior garda sources said.

He also said that Mr Falsey could have been killed by people in the drugs trade, or may even have crossed somebody who had nothing to do with the drugs scene.

The Real IRA hasn’t claimed responsibility for Mr Falsey’s killing. However, that organisation said it was responsible for the last gun-related murder in Cork.

They said they shot drugs dealer, Gerard ‘Topper’ Staunton, outside his house at Elm Close in Wilton in January 2010.

The dissident group also claimed they murdered convicted drug dealer Kieran O’Flynn in June 7, 2001.

O’Flynn’s killing bore similar hallmarks to the professional hit on Darren Falsey.

O’Flynn went to answer a knock at the front door of his house at Thorndale Estate, Dublin Hill and was shot a number of times in the hallway.

A number of other people involved in the drugs trade in Cork have also been killed in recent years.

They include the O’Flynn gang enforcer Michael Crinnion who was shot dead outside a pub in Barrack Street April 1995.

Eric Cummins was gunned down in Ballincollig in August 2005 and David “Boogie” Brett, who had been living in Charleville, was lured to secluded spot near Ballydesmond May 21, 2007 where he was also shot dead.

A large proportion of the drugs trade in Cork has been cornered by Limerick gangs who are notoriously vicious, especially if somebody crosses them or won’t pay up what they owe.

But senior garda say that there are still Cork-based gangs which control a large proportion of the “local turf”.

Some of these gang masters live in the city and some in its leafy suburbs, while others control their patches from bases abroad. They are living in Spain and Holland.

A few days before Gerard “Topper” Stanton died the Real IRA distributed a number of leaflets in pubs on the southside of the city proclaiming that they would rid the area of dealers who didn’t immediately stop selling drugs.

Senior gardaí believe the Real IRA is using the cover of protecting areas from drugs as a front to extort large sums of money from dealers, which they in turn use to buy weapons.

Seven years ago a Real IRA botched an attempt to firebomb the home of a relative of Falsey’s who they had been trying to get money off.

A team of up to 60 gardaí headed by Detective Superintendent Sean Healy are working on the Falsey murder.

Falsey’s brother, Ronan, said he had spoken to him an hour before he was shot in the head and upper body.

“He was a great guy, always smiling, loved a pint, travel and most of all his children. He was an out-and-out family man,” Ronan Falsey said.

“He was an exceptionally good brother. He was fanatical about Munster rugby and Tottenham Hotspur.”

Mr Falsey had been shopping in Cork City with his partner, Lorraine Conroy, the morning he died. She dropped him back to their home at Ashbourne Court at 2pm and left.

At 2.45pm she returned to the house with her son Dylan (8) to discover Falsey lying in a pool of blood in the hallway.

Shell casings recovered from the scene showed that he was shot with a 9mm handgun.

Gardaí are carrying house to house inquiries in the area and checking CCTV footage in an attempt to identify Mr Falsey’s killer.

They have appealed for anybody with any information about the murder to contact gardaí in confidence at Togher garda station at (021) 4947120.

Picture: Darren Falsey: Gardaí say it is too early to say if he was killed because he refused to pay ‘protection money’.

GANGLAND HITS IN CORK: How five men were gunned down

Michael Crinnion

IT IS widely acknowledged that the killing of Michael Crinnion in Cork on April 8, 1995 was the first gangland killing in this country.

Crinnion, 35, an enforcer for the O’Flynn crime family, was gunned down outside the Clannad Bar on the city’s Barrack Street.

He had gone outside the bar to answer a phone call, and died in a hail of bullets fired by a lone gunman armed with a .38 revolver.

Ballistics tests showed the weapon had never been used in a previous shooting in Ireland. Gardaí acknowledged the killing bore all the hallmarks of a professional hit.

Two months before the fatal shooting, shots were fired into the Steeple Bar on Shandon Street where Crinnion was known to drink with his associates.

At the time of his death, the O’Flynn gang controlled most of Cork’s drugs trade and Crinnion was involved in a number of punishment beatings of members of opposing gangs and errant members of his own gang. Despite an extensive investigation, nobody has ever been convicted of the killing.

At his funeral in Togher, an RTÉ television crew was attacked.

Eric Cummins

ERIC Cummins, 31, was shot dead while holding his 18-month-old son, in a gangland-style execution in the driveway of his partner’s house in the Oldcourt area of Ballincollig on August 13, 2005.

Cummins, a plasterer, was shot four times by a lone gunman armed with a high-powered handgun who had lain in wait for up to half an hour before the attack.

The gunman left a parked car, strolled across a green area where several local children were playing, retrieved the handgun from bushes and jogged calmly towards his victim.

He leapt onto a wall and blasted Cummins four times as he, his partner, their child and a friend stood in the driveway of the house after returning from an outing.

The gunman escaped in a dark-coloured Honda car driven by an accomplice. It was later found burnt out.

Cummins had a conviction for a drugs offence in Portlaoise and was known to gardaí.

He may have been shot following a dispute with a drug dealer.

Nobody has ever been convicted for the killing.

David Brett

CONVICTED drug dealer David ‘Boogie’ Brett, 33, was shot dead in a secluded spot near Foyle National School, off the Tower Road, 7km from the village of Ballydesmond in north Cork on May 21, 2007.

Gardaí believe that Brett, who was originally from Greenmount in Cork city but who had moved to Liscarroll near Charleville in an effort to escape his past, had been lured to the area.

It is believed he owed a substantial amount of money to one of the city’s main drug gangs.

His body was left lying in a ditch beside his silver Audi. Brett had several convictions for drugs-related offences since the late 1990s.

In 1995, he was jailed for four years at Waterford Circuit Court for possession with intent to supply.

In February 2001, Brett was given a suspended sentence for driving another man to collect €50,000 worth of ecstasy which was stashed at Ballymartle, Kinsale.

Brett’s older brother John was one of the region’s biggest ecstasy dealers.

In November 1999 he was caught by gardaí in a Glanmire warehouse with €500,000 worth of ecstasy tablets stashed in truck tyres. He received an 11-year jail sentence.

Gerard Staunton

GERARD ‘Topper’ Staunton, 41, originally from Kilkieran Close in Hollyhill, on the northside of the city, was shot by a lone gunman as he was getting into his car outside his rented house at Westlawn in Wilton at around 7.50pm on January 20, 2010.

The convicted drug-dealer, who was known to gardaí, was blasted in the chest at close range by a man armed with a double-barreled sawn -off shotgun, in front of his partner and her two children.

The gunman fled in a red 92 C -registered Toyota Liteace van with distinctive bull-bars. It sped off along Sarsfield Road and was later found burned out in a field four miles away at Castlewhite, near Waterfall, at around 8.30pm.

Gardaí later traced the van to Carrigaline, where it had been bought 24 hours before the shooting. Less than a week later, the Real IRA issued a statement through the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, in which it claimed responsibility for Staunton’s murder.

The Real IRA distributed leaflets in a number of pubs on Cork’s northside in which it again warned that it was targeting drug-dealers, naming a man who had been convicted of possessing heroin for sale or supply but had received a suspended sentence.

The group also claimed responsibility for the shooting of another man, Pat Jones, 36, who was left paralysed after being shot through the window of a house in Knocknaheeny on September 28, 2008.

The dissidents have also claimed responsibility for Kieran O’Flynn’s murder.

Kieran O’Flynn

MICHAEL Crinnion’s brother-in-law, Kieran O’Flynn, 38, was gunned down in the hallway of his home on the northside of Cork city on June 7, 2001.

His eight-year-old daughter answered a knock at the door of their home at Thorndale, off Dublin Hill, at about 10.45pm to a man who asked for her father. He left when she told him O’Flynn wasn’t at home. But a balaclava-clad gunman returned at around 11pm and knocked at the door again.

O’Flynn, a convicted drug dealer, was shot twice as he opened the door.

The gunman fired twice through the door’s glass panel, then stepped into the hallway and fired a third shot through the dying man’s throat as he lay on the ground.

O’Flynn’s partner and three young children were in the house at the time.

O’Flynn had been arrested by gardaí and customs officials after a high-speed boat chase in Cork Harbour in December 1992 as he tried to bring some 50 kilos of cannabis resin ashore at Hop Island. He was subsequently convicted for the offence.

Gardaí arrested and questioned more than 80 people. No one has ever been charged with the killing.

One of O’Flynn’s brothers, Donal, was involved in the attack on the RTÉ camera crew who covered Crinnion’s funeral, and he received a 26-month jail sentence.

Another brother, Seanie, served prison sentences in Holland and Spain for drugs trafficking.

GARDAÍ say that the killer of a 36-year-old suspected drug dealer may have followed him for days before firing a number of shots into him at almost point-blank range in the hallway of his rented home.

The killer struck at Darren Falsey’s home in Carrigaline, Co Cork, on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Falsey, who was unemployed, had been in Cork city earlier in the day with his partner, Lorraine Conroy, and her young son.

Ms Conroy dropped him to their home at Ashbourne Court at 2pm.

She returned 45 minutes later to find him lying in a poll of blood in the hallway.

A postmortem examination carried out yesterday afternoon at Cork University Hospital found he had been shot twice in the side and at least once in the back of the head.

At a press conference in Togher garda station yesterday, senior gardaí confirmed that they had found shell casings at the house that had been fired from a handgun.

Superintendent John Gilligan, head of the Garda Press Office, said a team of experience detectives was trying to establish a motive for the killing.

Supt Gilligan said up to 60 gardaí were now working on the case and more would be drafted in if it was deemed necessary.

He said that people had already contacted gardaí offering information and he appealed for anybody who knew anything about the murder to come forward.

The senior garda added that whoever carried out the killing had probably carried out surveillance on the victim at least that day and possibly for a number of days.

Mr Falsey’s sister, Sue-Anne Falsey, posted a message on her Facebook page in which she appealed for people to allow herself and her family to deal with the terrible situation privately.

“We are extremely shocked,” she wrote.

She said that out of consideration for her late brother and his family she didn’t want people posting comments on either his (Facebook) wall, or on those of any of his relatives.

Ms Falsey added that her brother’s funeral would be strictly private and limited to family members only.

Members of the Garda Technical Bureau, based in Dublin, were still combing the house yesterday in an effort to find clues to the killer’s identity.

Cork City Garda Division’s specialised search team were meanwhile examining an extended area around Ashbourne Estate and the adjoining Ferney Road.

Uniform and plainclothes detectives were also carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the area yesterday.

Detectives were also examining CCTV footage from shops in the Carrigaline area to see if they can identify any known criminals and suspicious vehicles.

Inspector Billy Duane said such an incident was traumatic for the tight-knit community of Carrigaline and also appealed for the public’s help. Supt Gilligan said that a lot of people walked and cycled through the area and he was hoping some of them may have seen suspicious activity, oreven heard the shots being fired.

* Anybody with information is asked to contact the special incident room at Togher Garda station on (021) 4947120.


A murder inquiry has commenced after Darren Falsey was killed in the rented house which he shared with his partner and one of his children.

Mr Falsey (36), a father of three, was found dead at the house at Ashbourne Court, Ferney Road, Carrigaline by his partner, Lorraine Conroy, when she returned home with the couple’s child Dylan shortly before 3pm yesterday.

Mr Falsey, who was unemployed, had been out shopping earlier in the day with Ms Conroy and their child. He was last seen alive when she dropped him home at about 2pm before she left to collect someone.

Gardaí immediately cordoned off the area and a Garda technical team was dispatched from Dublin to carry out a forensic examination of the scene.

Gardaí could find no sign of forced entry and believe that Mr Falsey was shot after he answered the front door to his killer. His body was found lying in the hallway just inside the front door. They are keeping an open mind on whether he may have known his killer.

It is understood that Mr Falsey had been shot possibly up to three times in the face and is believed to have died instantly. Gardaí recovered three bullet casings which they believe came from a semi-automatic weapon.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster carried out a preliminary examination of Mr Falsey’s body at the scene yesterday evening before it was removed to Cork University Hospital for a postmortem last night.

Detectives began door-to-door inquires along Ferney Road and in Ashbourne Court in the hope of talking to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area between 1pm and 3pm.

They have asked anyone who might have any information to contact Togher Garda station on 021-494 7120.

Gardaí last night began collecting CCTV footage from garages and other commercial premises around Carrigaline in the hope of identifying the car or vehicle used by the killer or killers to flee.

Mr Falsey had been living at the two-storey detached house for the past four years with his partner.

He had previously lived in the Grange area of Douglas, where it is understood that his two other children from a previous relationship live with their mother.

Mr Falsey had also lived in the Wilton area of Cork city and in Ballygarvan, just outside the city. He was well known in hunting and harrier circles and it is understood that he kept a number of hunting dogs.

Mr Falsey was also known to gardaí who suspected him of involvement in drug dealing.

One Garda source said he was a significant player in the Cork drugs scene over the past 10 years or so, with an involvement in the supply of large quantities of cannabis and cocaine.

It is understood that he had previously been threatened by a gang from Limerick when living in a house in the Grange area of Douglas in 2005-2006 but gardaí were last night keeping an open mind on a possible motive for the shooting.

One Garda source said the shooting may be related to a drugs debt but it is understood that gardaí were not ruling out the possibility that Mr Falsey was shot by dissident republicans who have already admitted responsibility for the murder of two drug dealers in Cork.

In January 2010, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder of convicted drug dealer Gerard Staunton, who was shot in Wilton, while last year, the Real IRA admitted responsibility for the murder of Kieran O’Flynn in Dublin Hill in June 2001.

Killer ‘may have lain in wait’

GARDAÍ are examining the possibility that a 36-year-old man gunned down in the hallway of his house may have been the victim of a gangland hitman.

It is believed the victim, named locally as Darren Falsey, was known to gardaí and was involved in the drugs trade.

He was shot a number of times, probably with a shotgun, although gardaí are awaiting ballistic tests to confirm this, at his home in Carrigaline, Co Cork, sometime between 2pm–3pm yesterday.

Last night assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster carried out a preliminary examination of the scene and Mr Falsey’s body was removed to Cork University Hospital, where a full postmortem will be carried out today.

Garda forensic experts combed the house at Ashbourne Court, off the Fernley road, on the southside of Carrigaline, looking for clues to the identity of the killer.

Mr Falsey’s partner found him lying in a pool of blood in the hallway of their home at 2.45pm and raised the alarm. It is believed she was living there with Mr Falsey and at least one young child.

The dead man was originally from the village of Waterfall, on the western outskirts of the city.

Mr Falsey was well-educated and attended Presentation Brothers College before carrying on studies at Tottenham Polytechnic College in London. He returned to Ireland, where he is believed to have become involved in criminality and the drugs scene in his early 20s.

He was a keen follower of Munster rugby and went to many of the province’s matches, both home and away.

A senior Garda source said they were examining a number of possible motives for the killing. Gardaí believe his killer may have lain in wait for some time before shooting Mr Falsey dead.

“We are anxious to speak to anybody in the area who saw or heard anything suspicious between 1pm and 3pm,” the senior garda source said.

He declined to comment on local speculation that the dead man was involved in drug dealing and owed money to people. However, he confirmed that the dead man was “known” to them.

– Gardaí are appealing for anybody with information to contact a special incident room set up at Togher Garda Station, 021 4947120, or the Garda confidential line, 1800 666111.

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out later on the body of a man who was shot dead in his home in Co Cork yesterday.

Carrigaline - Darren Falsey shot dead yesterday

Carrigaline – Darren Falsey shot dead yesterday

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out later this morning on the body of a man who was shot dead in his home at Carrigaline, Co Cork yesterday.

The deceased man has been named locally as 37-year-old Darren Falsey.

Gardaí, who are treating the death at suspicious, have appealed to the public for information.

Mr Falsey’s body was removed from his home at Ashbourn Court in Carrigaline just before 10pm last night and brought to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem examination is to be carried out by the Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

His body was discovered with gunshot injuries in the detached house on the Fernley Road by his partner at around 3pm.

The deceased, who was known to gardaí, had been at home alone.

An incident room has been set up at Togher Garda Station, and as door-to-door enquiries get under way in the town this morning, gardaí have once again appealed to the public for help, particularly for anyone who was in the Fernley road area from 1pm to 3pm.


Six held over dissident activity | 19/01/2011

Three questioned over Cork murder | 11/02/2011

Garda appeal over Cork murder | 16/02/2011

Man shot dead in Co Cork | 03/08/2011


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