Body of Tallaght shooting victim discovered by children

Monday 20 May 2013 22.11
The body of Alan Desmond was found near Killinarden Hill on Saturday
The body of Alan Desmond was found near Killinarden Hill on Saturday

The body of a 37-year-old shooting victim discovered in Dublin over the weekend was found by playing children, according to gardaí.

Alan Desmond, who died from a single gunshot wound to the head, was found on Saturday night on Killinarden Hill in Tallaght.

He had been missing since 29 April, the night gardaí discovered firearms and ammunition in his home in Kilclare Avenue.

Three rifles, a handgun and two sawn-off shotguns as well as a large amount of ammunition were found at his home. The guns were loaded.

Mr Desmond was under investigation in connection with the seizure and gardaí suspect his shooting may have been related to the seizure.

Detectives believe the weapons belonged to a local criminal gang and are trying to establish if Mr Desmond had been paid to mind them or did so under duress.

They believe he was taken to the place where his body was found at gunpoint and shot once in the head.

His body lay there for a number of weeks and gardaí say it might never have been found if it was not for the children playing in the area.

Gardaí also said they were investigating reports that other children may have seen the body at the scene two weeks ago and told their friends to go up and see it.

They have appealed to parents to talk to their children to find out if any of them saw anything suspicious in the area.

Superintendent Peter Duff said gardaí wanted to reassure parents and children that if a child innocently took something from the scene, they would not be in trouble, but gardaí are anxious to speak to them.

Counselling is being provided by the Health Service Executive and a liaison officer has been appointed to the family.

Mr Desmond had served time in jail both in Ireland and in the UK.

He was last released from prison in 2004 after serving a sentence for firearms offences.

He had not come to garda attention for over eight years until they found the guns and ammunition at his home last month.