Dublin gangland figure Brandon Ledwidge (23) died of gunshot to chest, inquest hears

Garda investigation continuing and charges may yet be brought murder in Finglas last November, coroner hears

Brandon Ledwidge, one of two men shot in the Republic in gangland attacks last year, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, his inquest has been told.

A Garda detective leading the investigation into the murder in Finglas, Dublin, has also told Dublin Coroner’s Court the inquiry was continuing and criminal charges may be brought in the case.

Mr Ledwidge (23) was shot dead on the evening of Saturday, November 18th. A gunman opened fire on him outside his family home on Barry Drive. A drug-related motive is suspected for the killing.

The dead man’s mother, Sabrina Ledwidge, took to the witness box on Tuesday at the brief inquest hearing, before Dr Clare Keane, to confirm the details of a short statement read into evidence.

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She said on November 19th she met gardaí at the mortuary, in the Office of the State Pathologist building, on Griffith Avenue in north Dublin and formally identified the remains of her son. She did so in the presence of Det Garda Ciara O’Sullivan of Finglas Garda station.

Det O’Sullivan told Dr Keane when the fatal shooting occurred last November she was part of the investigation team and appointed family liaison officer. As part of that role, she had met Ms Ledwidge at the mortuary, where the dead man’s remains were laid out in the “viewing room” for formal identification.

Insp Dara Kenny of Finglas Garda station told Dr Keane as the senior investigation officer in the case, he was applying for an adjournment to the inquest.

He said “criminal proceedings are to be contemplated” at a later date relating to Mr Ledwidge’s murder and sought a six-month adjournment to facilitate the murder inquiry continuing.

Dr Keane granted the application, adjourning the inquest to November 11th, extending her sympathies to members of the Ledwidge family present. She added she was in a position at this early point of the inquest process to confirm the “medical reason” for Mr Ledwidge’s death which was “a gunshot wound to the chest”.

Regarded as a relatively minor figure on the north Dublin drugs scene, Mr Ledwidge was on bail at the time he was murdered, having allegedly been caught with heroin and cocaine several times in recent years.

Gardaí believe he had been working with a local drugs gang but had fallen foul of them in the weeks before his death. That dispute, with a known criminal group with access to firearms, is the main line of investigation for the gun murder.

Mr Ledwidge was at the family home on Barry Drive just before 7pm on the evening he died when he went to the door to meet a caller, who shot him. The emergency services were alerted and the injured man was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken by ambulance to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

However, he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital. His murder was the first gangland killing of last year in the Republic and came at a time of relative calm in the underworld, though the drugs trade has been booming in a full employment economy.

Gardaí suspect Mr Ledwidge had been working with a tight-knit drugs gang in Finglas, Dublin 11, but had fallen foul of them and was operating more independently in the drugs trade just before his killing. The dispute with members of that group was being examined as a possible motive for his murder.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times