A MAN who moved to Portarlington to ‘live a quieter life’ was violently gunned down in a hail of bullets in front of his two children in a gangland style murder attack yesterday morning (Monday).
The victim, who has been named as Gerard Eglington, originally from Dublin, was shot four times in his home at about 8.30am and he was rushed to the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore where he was pronounced dead.
The scene of the shooting - 61 The Glen, Kilnacourt Woods, Portarlington – was preserved and a forensic examination conducted by the Garda Technical Bureau.
Eglington was known to Gardai and he was allegedly a member of the ‘King Ratt’ criminal gang and thirteen months ago a contract was reportedly taken out on his life by a rival gang following an incident in a Dublin pub.
Gardaí and specialised units mounted a number of operations to protect Eglington who lived at the Kilnacourt Woods housing estate with his girlfriend and their two children, aged eleven and three.
It has been reported that Mr Eglington’s partner left the family home to go to a local pharmacy and that the shooters entered shortly afterwards to carry out their execution.
Poignantly, two children’s bicycled rested alongside the victim’s car which was covered up by black polythene sheeting, a reminder of the chilling nature of this crime.
The attackers were travelling in a black Mazda car which was reported stolen last August in Dublin. The car was later found abandoned and burnt out at Lock’s Gate near Portarlington’s, Station Road.
Investigating Gardaí, including members of the Garda serious crime unit, have been conducting door to door enquiries in attempt to solve this cold blooded murder that has shocked the people of Portarlington and beyond.
Investigations are at an early stage and Gardaí are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to contact Portlarlington Garda Station at 057 86 23112.