Murder probe into shooting of trader on return from work outside Aviva Stadium

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Police in Ireland have launched a murder investigation after a widower and father-of-one was shot dead outside his home in Co Kildare.

Street trader Clive Staunton was targeted when he returned from selling flags and hats near the Aviva Stadium on Thursday night during the friendly match between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The 50-year-old, who lost his wife to cancer two years ago, died at the scene in Glen Easton Way, Leixlip.

Gardai say a gunman approached him as he left his van and shot him several times before leaving him to die just yards from his home.

His father Stan was in the house at the time of the incident but his son Ryan was not in the country.

Gardai are investigating whether the killers were waiting for him or followed him home from his stall in Bath Avenue, Dublin.

They are also probing why the victim left his stall early.

It is believed to be a Kinahan-Hutch feud-related incident.

Speaking outside Leixlip Garda station, Superintendent Gerry Wall said: “Gardai are asking anyone who saw Clive or his van – a white Mercedes sprinter – which has a distinctive red stripe on both sides between Bath Avenue, Dublin 4 and Leixlip between 8pm and 9.15pm to contact them.

“We are interested in the movements of a silver/grey Volvo S40 car that we believe may have taken the perpetrators to and from the scene. That car or a similar car was recovered on Thursday night in the Manor Kilbride in Co Wicklow.

“We are hoping that anyone who was in Glen Easton between 8pm and 9.30pm, or anybody who may have seen Clive or his van leaving Bath Avenue and going to Glen Easton in Leixplip, that they might come forward or anyone who might have dash cam to check it.”

He said that the Kinahan-Hutch feud is part of their investigations.

“I have some 30 detectives and uniform members who worked throughout the night and they achieved nearly 100 tasks and that is one of the enquiries,” he added.

“All murder is brutal and callous. We are always reliant on the public and they have yet to let us down and it’s through their support and information and the use of the Garda confidential line where all information can be given.

“This man is a street trader and not involved in criminality but murder is always brutal and no matter what form it takes we will investigate it the same manner as we do any investigation.”

He added no firearm has been recovered.

Bernard Caldwell, a councillor who lives in Leixlip, said: “I know his neighbour and he said he was a very nice man.

“He got on with his own business and was very friendly.

“People in the area are shocked and there was a lot of panic when they realised what had happened. It’s a very unfortunate incident.”

Fianna Fail’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said: “Since this feud first erupted, the gardai have done remarkable work in their attempt to contain threats and violence.

“On many occasions their work has successfully intercepted plots to carry out murder and other vicious crimes on our streets.

“One of the main reasons for that has been the increase in Garda presence in the communities worst affected.

“The Government must do its utmost to ensure that adequate resources and overtime for gardai are maintained.

“Last night’s murder was a particularly callous and brazen crime. This victim appears to have been targeted despite detectives confirming that he had no involvement in criminality or link to gangland associates.

“The fact that a man living in a quiet family estate could be attacked and killed yards from his doorstep sets a new precedent.

“The fight against organised crime and those inflicting terror in the capital and now the satellite towns surrounding it must be ramped up.”

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