Gardaí investigate murder of prominent Donegal journalist

GardaÍ in Dublin are conducting a murder investigation into the death in Dublin of journalist Eugene Moloney who was from Fahan.

GardaÍ in Dublin are conducting a murder investigation into the death in Dublin of journalist Eugene Moloney who was from Fahan.

The 55-year-old died after being attacked as he was on his way to his south city home at around 4.30am on Sunday. He was punched in the head during the assault, which was caught on CCTV.

Police arrested two men, aged in their 20s, on Monday morning and detained them at Kevin Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Act 1984. One of the men was released late last night and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is understood that Mr Moloney may have been robbed, as his wallet and identification are reported to have been missing.

Despite being born in England and rised in Belfast, the journalist always thought of Fahan as his home. His brother Sean, who lives in Fahan, said yesterday that he will be brought home to Fahan to be buried next to his mother Peg (née Flanagan).

He added: “We are just devastated that he has gone, we just can’t take it in yet.”

Fahan Parish Priest Fr. Neil McGoldrick said the local community were “very shocked” at the death. “It is horrible news for any family member to receive. I don’t know much about it but our thoughts are with Mr. Moloney and his family at this time.”

The journalist made his name with the Irish News and the Irish Independent.

Noel Doran, the editor of The Irish News, was a long-standing friend and former flatmate of Mr Moloney. He said: “Eugene was a talented and respected reporter with the Irish News during the height of the Troubles and was also the paper’s music columnist for a lengthy period.

“It’s hard to believe that Eugene, who worked through the worst of the Troubles without anything happening to him has died in this way in Dublin, where he should have been safe.”

Mr. Doran said he visited Buncrana over the years with Mr. Moloney. “I have great memories of nights out at the Lake of Shadows and at concerts with Eugene.”

Michael Denieffe, Group Managing Editor of Independent Newspapers, described Mr. Moloney as “a resourceful and fearless journalist”.

He added: “It is a tragic irony that Eugene has died in an incident similar to many he would have recorded in his years working for the Evening Herald and the Irish Independent. Our sympathies go to his family and friends.”

Former Indo colleague Tom Brady said: “He was a very friendly chap who enjoyed life and had a particular fondness for travel.” Mr Moloney had spent some time teaching in Vietnam.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter called the death “a dreadful tragedy”.

The Irish Secretary of the National Union of Journalists Séamus Dooley has expressed the union’s condolences to the family of Eugene Molone. He said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Eugene Moloney as they come to terms with his senseless killing.

“Eugene was a vibrant, enthusiastic journalist with an engaging personality and a genuine passion for newsgathering. His death comes as a shock to his family, to his journalistic colleagues and to a wide circle of friends. Eugene could be relied upon to enliven whatever company he was in and was a regular contributor to debates within the NUJ chapel at the Irish Independent. He embraced life fully and had an abiding interest in music and travel. To lose a colleague who had so much to offer at such a young age is a tragedy and an immense loss. Whenever one met Eugene he was planning his next trip. He was imbued with enthusiasm and a zest for life.”

Funeral arrangements had not yet been confirmed at the time of going to press.