Family plead for re-opening of loved one’s case after gardaí receive letters

By Mary Dennehy

THE grieving family of a young Tallaght man who lost his life seven years ago is this week calling again for their loved one’s case to be re-opened after two anonymous letters believed to contain information on his death were anonymously sent to Gardaí.

John Kelly’s (24) body was recovered from the freezing water at Britain Quay on October16, 2008 and despite Gardaí not treating the case as suspicious, and the Coroner’s Court ruling ‘death by misadventure’, his family are still haunted by what happened that night.

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Since the tragic incident, the Kelly family has criticised how gardaí dealt with the case and the “ease” at which officers’ branded John’s death ‘not suspicious’ – opinions which the family raised in a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman and voiced through The Echo and national media.

Living in Tymon North, the Kelly family is convinced that somebody was with John on the night of his death and that the 24-year-old builder was “lured” to the barren area and “beaten, robbed and left to die”.

Through their own investigation, the family has questioned the fact that John’s phone, cigarettes, bracelet and new runners were missing when he was recovered from the water, and that there was bruising to his face and blood on his clothes.

They have also stressed that John, who had just completed a six-week stay in rehab for issues with alcohol, was heard crying out for help for more than 30 minutes on the night of his death, cries, which when heard by people living in nearby apartments, resulted in numerous people ringing 999.

This week, the family is once again calling for John’s case to be re-opened and also for the person who sent the anonymous letters to Tallaght Garda Station to come forward.

John’s sister Emma told The Echo: “The letters were passed onto Pearse Street Garda Station and we were contacted by officers about the letters, but not what they contain.

“We are appealing to the person who sent the letters to contact Gardaí or the family directly and confidentially.

“This person obviously wants to do something good and help get justice for John, and at this stage we really need them to come forward.”

She added: “We live with John’s death every day and in the knowledge that he was murdered.

“We won’t have a Christmas like other families, we don’t have any family occasions anymore, and until we get justice for John we won’t be able to live on. We’ll live under the shadow of this until we feel we have done right by our brother and that authorities see his life as worthwhile.”

Dublin South West TD Eamonn Maloney (Independent) is meeting with the family this week. He told The Echo: “There is sufficient doubt about how John lost his life to warrant a full investigation. I believe that when the Minister reads the case material, she will announce a full review of the case.

“Anybody looking at this case objectively will see that there is a number of unanswered questions and after I meet the family, I will be bringing certain aspects to the attention of the Minister.”

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “The case referred to is one of those which was referred to the Independent Review Mechanism established by the Minister to independently review certain allegations of Garda misconduct or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations.

“The purpose of the review was to determine to what extent and in what manner further action may be required in each case.

“The notification letter in relation to the outcome of the review in this particular case is expected to issue shortly.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on that outcome before the family have been informed.”



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