Gardaí investigating why street trader left stall early as inquiry into vicious gangland murder launched
GARDAI say the reasons why a street trader – who was brutally gunned down last night – left early from his stall outside the Aviva Stadium, will form part of the murder inquiry.
The 50-year-old has become the 19th victim of the Hutch-Kinahan feud after being shot twice in the head in a Co Kildare housing estate.
The man, who was named locally as Clive Staunton, was shot in the Glen Easton housing estate in Leixlip at approximately 9.15pm last night.
Speaking in Leixlip this afternoon, Superintendent, Gerry Wall said that Clive Staunton’s father, Stan was in the house at the time of the shooting.
However, it’s understood he did not witness it.
Mr Staunton’s son is understood to have been out of the country at the time of the shooting.
The victim’s partner had passed away two years ago.
Supt. Wall said 30 detectives and uniformed members worked through Thursday night on the murder.
He added that gardai are particularly interested in the movements of a Volvo S40 car which they believe may have taken the perpetrators to and from the scene.
“We know that Clive worked as a street trader last night for the Ireland versus Northern Ireland match outside the Aviva Stadium. His stall was at the Bath Avenue junction, Shelbourne Road, probably known as the Beggars Bush junction,” he said.
“We know that Clive left there shortly after 8pm and he drove his white Mercedes van with distinctive red lines on it.
“He drove that van from Bath Avenue here to Glen Easton in Leixlip to his home. He arrived there between 9 and 9.15pm.
“As he left his van to enter his house, a gunman approached him and shot him on several occasions and left him to die on the roadway outside his house.”
Asked about Mr Staunton not staying around the stadium until after full-time, he said:
“That would form part of our inquiry, of why he left early, if he did leave early. But, as we know, people do things for various different reasons. But we do know about that and we’re certainly looking into that as part of our inquiry.”
Supt Wall said that no firearm has been recovered by gardai so far.
Mr Staunton was originally from the Greek Street flats in Dublin’s north inner city but had been staying in the Leixlip area recently.
He had no previous criminal convictions but had some Hutch family connections.
The victim’s body was removed from the scene earlier today.
A blue tent had covered the remains of Mr Staunton, a father-of-one, as local officers waited at the scene for the arrival of the State Pathologist to carry out a preliminary post-mortem.
A large white Mercedes van, close to Mr Staunton’s body, was removed by gardaí following an examination.
The window on the driver’s side of the vehicle was shattered with what appeared to be a bullet hole visible. There were also bullet holes in the windscreen.
Gardaí are also examining a car that was discovered burnt out at Ballyfolan near Manor Kilbride in Co Wicklow.
A second car that was found at the scene was removed last night.
Gardai do not believe the country’s latest gangland victim had any involvement in the ongoing gangland feud.
Investigators at this stage suspect that Staunton was targeted because he is related to the Hutch family.
A neighbour of the victim described how he was talking to Mr Staunton just hours before he was gunned down outside his house.
“I was only talking to him earlier in the day. He was always in great form, had a smile on his face when you say hello to him,” his neighbour Shane Cody told Independent.ie.
“You could always have a chat with him. It’s a nice area and stuff like this doesn’t happen. I’m shocked,” he added.
Asked what mood Clive Staunton was in earlier that day, Mr Cody said he appeared “fine” as he always was.
He described how the murder victim would regularly seen returning with his van after street-trading in the city.
Throughout the morning shocked residents passed the scene in the quiet Glen Easton estate. Several parents passing the murder site were with their children, who looked on in shocked.
Locals said Mr Staunton, who was originally from the inner-city, had been living in the area for several years.
He was also a regular sight outside Ireland home games at the Aviva Stadium where he sold merchandise.
It is understood that he had been returning from the stadium when he was shot dead at around 9.15pm last night.
A white car was seen fleeing the scene of the shooting and was later found burnt out.
The scene at Glen Easton Way was sealed off last night with a strong Garda presence.
Neighbours reported hearing a sound “just like fireworks” after nine o’clock.
One neighbour said she was used to hearing children on the street and assumed it was some fireworks left over from Halloween. She added that area was very safe.
Another young woman was seen walking along the road near the scene in a distressed state.
The latest death in the feud is likely to lead to increasing tensions in the inner city.
The last person to die in the deadly feud was Jason ‘Buda’ Molyneux, who suffered six gunshot wounds to his chest and stomach in January. His murder in Dublin’s north inner city came just days after Derek Coakley Hutch was gunned down outside Wheatfield Prison on January 20.
Mr Coakley Hutch was a nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, and was the fourth member of the family to be shot dead in just two years.
The feud between the Hutch family and the Kinahan cartel erupted in September 2015 when Gary Hutch – another nephew of Gerry Hutch – was murdered in Spain.
Gardaí are asking anyone who saw Clive Staunton or his van a white Mercedes sprinter 96D22788, which has a distinctive red stripe on both sides, between Bath Avenue, Dublin 4 and Leixlip Co Kildare between 8pm and 9.15pm on the 15th of November 2018, to contact them.
Gardai would also like to speak to anyone who was in the Glen Easton estate Leixlip between 8.30pm and 9.30pm to contact Leixlip Garda Station.
They are also appealing for information on the movement of a silver/grey Volvo S40 (old style square back) between Leixlip Co Kildare and Manor Kilbride Co Wicklow.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Leixlip 6667800 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111or any Garda Station.
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