Gardaí issue fresh appeal over unsolved Cork murder in 2007

As the 10th anniversary of the murder of David ‘Boogie’ Brett approaches at the weekend, gardaí are renewing an appeal for information to help them trace his killer. Ann Murphy reports
Gardaí issue fresh appeal over unsolved Cork murder in 2007
A garda at the crime scene where the body of David Brett was found outside Foyle National School off the Tower Road in Ballydesmond. Picture Dan Linehan

GARDAÍ investigating the unsolved murder of David “Boogie” Brett a decade ago are issuing an appeal to anyone who knows anything about the killing to come forward now.

Investigators are hoping that the passage of time has resulted in changed loyalties and relationships which could be the key to cracking the murder of the Cork City native in north-west Cork on the night of May 21, 2007.

The body of the drug dealer was spotted at Foyle National School near Ballydesmond by a local woman who was passing through the area at around 10.30pm. She contacted her brother-in-law who went to the scene with another man and they raised the alarm.

Mr Brett was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor and removed to Cork University Hospital, where his partner identified him.

The 34-year-old had been shot in what gardaí believe was a gangland-style execution.

His body was slumped beside his 1999 Cork-registered silver Audi and there was no trace of anyone or a getaway vehicle.

David Brett
David Brett

An inquest into his death was opened less than a year later. Dr Margot Bolster, the deputy State pathologist, told the Coroner’s Court, sitting in Mallow, that he died as a result of a combination of haemorrhage and shock, due to gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

The Greenmount native had moved to Liscarroll near Charleville some years before he was murdered. He was living there with his partner and children.

He left his home at around 9pm that night to drive to Ballydesmond, on his own. He drove the Audi, registered 99 L 3543, through Newmarket onto Ballydesmond’s Main St at 9.40pm, before heading to Foyle National School.

It is believed he had been lured to his death by an invitation to meet people he knew at the school.

Mr Brett, who was well known to gardaí, had spent time in prison following convictions for possessing drugs with intent to supply, in both Waterford and Cork.

He was jailed for four years on a charge of drug possession for sale or supply in the mid-1990s in Waterford. In 1998, he and an associate were arrested after a seizure of ecstasy tablets was made in Ballymartle. The associate was sentenced to 12 years, while Mr Brett received a seven-year suspended sentence. This was appealed by the DPP on the grounds of leniency and he served two years in prison, being released in 2003.

In the early days of the investigation, gardaí were working to establish if Mr Brett’s murder was linked to connections the dead man had to drug gangs in the Munster area, including Cork and Limerick.

Mobile-phone records were analysed by officers in the hope they would lead to Mr Brett’s killer. In December 2007, gardaí carried out nine searches in Kerry and seized a number of mobile phones and SIM cards as part of their investigation.

Garda forensics teams also combed the local area for clues.

A number of arrests were made.

However, nobody was ever charged with his killing and his family are still waiting for his murderer to be brought to justice.

Anyone with information can contact the detective branch in Bandon garda station on 023 8852200.

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