Organised crime unit of the Spanish police is investigating the murder of Richard Keogh (30), from Cabra in Dublin. Security sources in Spain say the killing is believed to be drugs related. Keogh, a father of four children aged between two and nine years, was wounded several times after at least 10 shots were fired in a drive-by shooting in Benalmadena Costa near Marbella. He was walking along a pavement with this wife at about 11.35pm on Saturday when a car pulled up and at least one occupant opened fire. Keogh collapsed on the pavement outside the Torrequebrada Hotel. The dead man is originally from Carnlough Road, Cabra, but in recent years had settled with his family in the Belfry estate, Duleek, Co Meath. On November 2nd, 2007, Keogh was putting his bin out for collection when a gunman fired at least five shots at him as his wife and two-year-old son looked on. He was wounded in the shoulder and arm but managed to run back into the safety of his home. His attacker tried to run into the house but Keogh’s partner slammed the door shut as a number of bullets hit the house. Shortly after the murder attempt, Keogh put his five bedroom detached property up for sale and moved with his partner and children to southern Spain. Keogh has been a target of the Garda National Drug Unit for a number of years as part of Operation Rugby and Operation Banish. He was associated with a man from Cabra who was a member of an international gang caught with cocaine valued at €400 million off the coast of Spain a number of years ago. Keogh’s assets are currently being investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau. Garda sources said they regarded Keogh a “significant player” in the drugs trade here. The deceased was one of a growing number of gangland figures involved in the motor trade in Dublin. He was a partner in a garage in the north inner city. Garda sources said that while he had addresses in Balbriggan and Duleek before moving to Spain, he remained closely associated with drug dealers from Cabra and from Dublin’s north inner city. He and was also associated with the Finglas-based gang once led by Martin “Marlo” Hyland.
Gardaí suspect that when Keogh moved to Spain he began sourcing cocaine and other drugs from international gangs there for export to his contacts in Ireland. They believe his murder is most likely linked to a drugs dispute with an international cartel rather than with any Irish criminals based in Benalmadena Costa. Southern Spain is popular with Irish gangs because it is the European distribution hub for cocaine smuggled from Colombia via West Africa. Keogh’s murder is the latest in a series of killings in which Irish drug dealers have been shot after relocating to continental Europe. Peter Mitchell (39), of Summerhill in Dublin, was wounded in a shooting in Marbella last August. He was a one-time associate of John Gilligan. Drug dealer Paddy Doyle, of Portland Place, in Dublin, was shot dead near Marbella last February. The former leaders of the notorious Dublin Westies gang, Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg, were shot dead in Alicante, southern Spain, in early 2004. John McKeon, from Finglas in Dublin, has been missing presumed dead in Spain for over three years. Cork drug dealer Michael “Danser” Ahern was found dead in the freezer of an apartment in Portugal in 2005.