Man jailed for life over murder of friend in Dublin

A 33-year-old criminal who lured his friend to his death seven years ago and shot him in the back has been sentenced to life in prison at the Central Criminal Court.

Conor Dolan shot Neil Fitzgerald six times and left him lying on the ground at Crooksling in Co Dublin on 5 June 2016.

He originally denied the charge of murder, but changed his plea to guilty in July of this year.

He had previously described to his former girlfriend how he carried out the murder and told her he was paid €10,000, half of what he had been promised.

Mr Fitzgerald was found shot dead at Hills Lane, a rural country lane in the townland of Crooksling, off the road from Tallaght to Blessington, early on the morning of 5 June 2016.

The 35-year-old gangland murder victim sustained nine bullet wounds, three of which were exit wounds, after he had been shot six times just after midnight.

The scene at Crooksling

Dolan was his friend and they trusted each other but Dolan lured his friend to his death.

Both were in Dolan’s distinctive purple car when gardaí stopped and searched it in Tallaght an hour and a half before the murder.

Dolan had gotten his car washed the day before the murder, but when the gardaí seized it eleven hours later, Mr Fitzgerald’s palm marks were found on the boot.

Dolan had arranged to pick up his friend from a pub in Tallaght before driving him to the place where he murdered him.

He told Fitzgerald he wanted to collect something and when Fitzgerald looked away and began searching, Dolan retrieved a gun from the bushes and shot his friend from behind.

Fitzgerald ran, but Dolan shot him again as he fell and as he lay on the ground.

Dolan also returned to the murder scene at 8am the following morning.

He later told this to his former girlfriend and the mother of one of his children when he was high on cocaine.

He also complained that he had been promised €20,000 to kill his friend but only received €10,000.

Dolan left the country but was detained in the UK on a European arrest warrant and arrested by detective Garda Conor Harrison when he arrived back in Dublin.

He originally denied the murder but on the second day of his trial pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Fitzgerald.

He has over thirty criminal convictions including for drugs dealing, robberies, assault and violent crime.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon sentenced him to the mandatory term of life in prison.

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