Colleagues remembered slain Irish journalist Eugene Moloney, who covered the troubles in Northern Ireland and then wandered the world, as a person who wasn’t afraid to walk the back streets of foreign cities and yet was killed in his own capital, Dublin, in a vicious late-night attack.
Garda (police) evidence gleaned from closed-circuit cameras and from passers-by believe the two main suspects were complete strangers to each other before the 4:30 a.m. random attack on Sunday.
Both suspects are from highly respectable families living on the Southside of Dublin.
One suspect, 21-year-old Gary Burch, was later charged with the manslaughter of Moloney and was remanded in custody. The other suspect was released and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions about him.
Moloney, 55, a former reporter with the Irish Independent and more recently freelancing for the Irish Daily Mail after his return from teaching English in Vietnam, died after suffering one punch to the head on Camden Street in Dublin.
He had been at a party with friends and was exchanging words with one man when he was apparently hit from behind by another. In a bizarre twist, Gardai (police) believe the two men were complete strangers to each other.
Moloney, English-born of Irish parents and reared in Belfast, regarded the Co. Donegal village of Fahan, his mother’s native place, as home. He will be buried there beside her.
He is the second reporter with links to Independent Newspapers in Dublin to have been killed violently in Dublin.
Sunday Independent crime reporter Veronica Guerin, who Moloney would have known during his 20 years with the group, was murdered for exposing criminals in 1996.
Moloney was killed just two days before the 16th anniversary of Guerin’s death.
While he didn’t die because of his work, his death has still raised major concerns over an increasingly violent society that has left devastated families struggling to cope with sudden loss.
Joan Deane, chair of victims support group AdVIC, said, “It’s certainly no secret that a lot of young people are out roaming the streets when they are drunk, and sometimes when they’re on drugs.”
A total of 32 people have suffered violent deaths in Ireland this year.
Among Moloney’s major assignments during his career was coverage of the Northern Ireland troubles which included reporting on the Good Friday Agreement.
His most recent article, on the Ulster Bank IT crisis, appeared in the Irish Daily Mail on Saturday, just hours before his death.