Cork officers probe shooting of Mark Hennessy

Cork officers probe shooting of Mark Hennessy
Emergency services next to a Nissan Qashqai at a business park in the Cherrywood area of Dublin where Mark Hennessy was shot dead by a garda. Pic: Peter Varga/PA Wire

A TEAM of five investigators from Cork is carrying out the probe into the fatal shooting of suspected killer Mark Hennessy.

The officers attached to the Cork office of the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) have been in Dublin since Sunday, to probe the killing of the suspected abductor of Jastine Valdez last Saturday in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. A post mortem examination showed she had been strangled.

The GSOC investigation runs alongside the garda investigation, which is looking for reasons why Hennessy abducted and killed the young woman. One of the avenues of investigation is whether she may have been stalked by Hennessy, because she worked in a cafe in Bray, where he lived.

The father-of-two young children was shot once in the arm as he sat in a black Nissan Qashqai in Cherrywood in Dublin, by a detective garda. The shot entered an artery.

The gun was retrieved by GSOC investigators while a Stanley knife found in Hennessy’s car has also been retained.

GSOC are working to establish why Hennessy was shot while in the car.

Ms Valdez had been forced into his car on Saturday evening and is believed to have been killed an hour later, before being dumped near Puck’s Castle in Co Dublin. Her body was discovered in dense undergrowth on Monday afternoon and gardaí are looking to Hennessy’s social media activity and other online actions to establish more about what spurred him to abduct and kill the 24-year-old Filipino student.

Gardaí are also hoping for clues from a broken phone, believed to have been owned by the dead man, as well as his laptop. And they were searching in the area of Puck’s Castle Lane for Ms Valdez’s bag and iPad. One line of enquiry is whether Hennessy had used dating apps. Gardaí are also investigating if he had any links to sex attacks or historical disappearances of women in the east of the country.

A bloodstained note was found in the car and helped gardaí to the location where the body was found on Monday afternoon.

A GSOC statement said: “A post mortem on Monday 21 May established that the man identified as Mark Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder, and that the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries. The deceased was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting.”

“Other wounds consistent with self-harming were noted on his body. GSOC investigators are in the process of collecting evidence including video footage of the incident. In particular, GSOC is in possession of a recording from the ANPR camera of the Garda traffic car which was at the scene. CCTV recordings from premises in the vicinity have been provided to GSOC investigators. Witnesses are being identified and contacted in the ordinary way.”

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