Two men have been found guilty of the murder of a dissident republican in a pub car park in Co Meath four years ago.

Peter Butterly, 35, was shot dead outside The Huntsman Inn in Gormanston on 6 March 2013.

Edward McGrath, 35, of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght, and 47-year-old Sharif Kelly of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan both denied murder.

McGrath also pleaded not guilty to firearms offences on the same occasion.

A third accused Dean Evans, 24, of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin - failed to turn up for the trial and has not been located by gardaí.

Another man, David Cullen, whose role was to dispose of the murder weapon, testified against the two men.

He was convicted of firearms offences and is now in the witness protection programme.

Both McGrath and Kelly were convicted of a "brutal callous and premeditated murder".

They will be sentenced on 7 April but both face mandatory life sentences in prison.

The Special Criminal Court heard that McGrath drove into the car park of the Huntsman’s Inn and the gunman in the back of car fired two shots at Butterly's car.

Firearms residue were found on McGrath's clothes and on a black wig he used as a disguise.

Butterly got out and ran, but the gunman chased him and shot him in the back and neck and he died at the scene.

A garda told the trial he said an act of contrition in his ear as McGrath drove the gunman away.

Kelly was waiting nearby in his ex-wife's car to collect the two men, with a bag of clothes for the gunman and a duvet covering the back seat.

The stolen car used in the murder was to be burned out and a can of petrol and broken up firelighters were found in it.

The court found today that Kelly was the second getaway driver.

Cullen was arrested at gunpoint after he picked up the murder weapon and tossed it into a bush outside Gormanstown College, after it had been thrown from the passing getaway car.

He was subsequently convicted of firearms offences.

He entered the witness protection programme and testified against the others

The gang had been under surveillance and were monitored as they carried out a dry run the day before the murder.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today the court was satisfied that Butterly was shot by Evans who was driven to and from the scene by McGrath, with the gun being collected by Cullen and Kelly helping the killers escape.