Two men arrested in investigation into murder of Dessie Fox at Healy's Bridge, Prosperous

Tyrone based bookmaker was shot dead on his way to the Curragh in 1990

Conor McHugh

Reporter:

Conor McHugh

Email:

conor@leinsterleader.ie

Two men arrested in investigation into murder of Dessie Fox at Healy's Bridge, Prosperous

The late Dessie Fox

Gardaí have arrested two men as part of an ongoing investigation in to the murder of Dessie Fox at Healy's Bridge, Prosperous, Co Kildare on September 30, 1990.

Mr Fox, a well-known bookmaker, was driving from his home in Dungannon, Northern Ireland to a race meeting in the Curragh, Co. Kildare, when his car was intercepted by a number of armed men at Healy's Bridge on the road between Downing’s Cross, Prosperous and Kilmeague.

He sustained a gunshot wound during the incident and died at the scene.

The two, aged 50 and 61 years were arrested in the Dublin area this morning, Tuesday May 29, during an operation involving Gardaí from the Kildare Division and members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

They are currently being detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 at Naas and Leixlip Garda Stations.

Mr Fox was also well known in GAA circles

Investigating Gardaí continue to appeal for information in this case and believe that a number of people have yet to come forward who may now be in a position to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.

On the 22th anniversary of the murder, Mr Fox's and three daughters made an emotional request for anyone with information about his death to contact Crimestoppers. His daughter, Lorna Fox O’Mahony explained that “for us to deal with this we need to know the truth of what happened on that day.

“We believe that there are people out there who know what happened to our Dad the day he was killed. We all loved him and miss him so much. Whatever information you may have, please come forward now. It is not too late to help.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Naas Garda Station 045-884300, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

The scene of the crime on September 30, 1990. Pic credit: RTE

Background

At approximately 1.20 pm on September 30, 1990 Mr  Fox was seen coming out of Connolly’s Newsagents shop in Prosperous village, near Frank’s Takeaway.

He had a newspaper under his arm and got into his car which was facing in the Allenwood/Dag Weld’s direction. He turned left before McCormack’s Petrol Station.

As he approached Healy’s Bridge a red car was seen travelling behind and investigators believe that this car was a red Toyota Carina bearing registration number 90 G 2506.

The occupants of the Carina opened fire on Mr Fox’s car causing damage near to the right rear indicator and the front left tyre, which was deflated. Two bookmakers bags located in the boot of the car were also damaged.

Garda Forensic examination located a number of shotgun pellets. Investigators believe that there were only two raiders in the Carina; one of them wore a puma cap which he discarded near to the scene.

Members of Dessie Fox's GAA club, Edendork, at Healy's bridge, the scene of his death, to begin a cycle in his name back to Edendork in June 2016

Mr Fox attempted to reverse away, but his car ran off the road and was forced to stop. The raiders then caught up, and as they approached one of them fired one shot from a handgun through the open passenger door. The bullet entered the deceased’s left leg, passing through his right leg and lodging in the door. This injury proved fatal and Mr Fox died at the scene.

The raiders then stole a black leather briefcase containing a large quantity of cash, canvas money bag, billheads with name, a Motorola cellular portable car phone and car keys. The canvas bag and phone were later recovered.

Although the red Carina’s number plates read 90G2506, a Garda briefing on the murder says the car’s correct number was 89 D 25125 and was stolen from a home in Ashfield Avenue, Ranelagh village between 2.15 and 4pm on September 26, 1990.

That vehicle was located at 12 noon on Monday October 10 in a field at Powerstown, Blanchardstown.

A crey Mitsubishi Gallant car, with either a 87 or 88 registration and either 11 or 14, was seen travelling in convoy with the red Carina at O’Grady’s Filling station in  Palmerstown.

The front passenger of the Toyota Carina was seen climbing into rear seat of the Gallant, wearing the Puma cap.