Category: Archive

Clare man slain in Bronx

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Kelly, 43, was shot once at close range in the back of the head while he was taking down Christmas lights.
An initial police statement pointed to the shooting as an act by “an unknown person for an unknown reason.”
The married father of three children was employed as the superintendent at 3505 Bruckner Blvd., an apartment building where the shooting took place.
The Kelly family also lived in the building.
Kelly, from Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare and a prominent figure in New York GAA circles, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center but was pronounced dead about an hour after the shooting, which occurred around 8 p.m.
The investigation into the shooting is centered at the 45th precinct where the head of the detective squad is Detective Sgt. Peter McCormack.
McCormack, from Ballybofey in County Donegal, knew the deceased personally and told the Echo that detectives would vigorously pursue Kelly’s killer.
The lead detectives in the case are Thomas Aasheim and Sean Murray, who is from County Mayo.
In addition to his job as building superintendent, Kelly also worked Friday nights as a bartender, most lately in Jimmy Ryan’s on Middletown Road in the Bronx.
A work colleague of Kelly’s at Jimmy Ryan’s said that everyone who knew him at the bar were in a state of shock.
“We’re devastated and numb. Nobody can understand it,” said the friend, who preferred not to be named.
“He was a great person,” she added.
Detective Sgt. McCormack said that detectives were eager to hear from anyone in the Irish community or beyond who might have information helpful to investigators.
People could call (718) 822-5414 and all calls would be treated as confidential.
Kelly is survived by his wife Ann and children, one a high school student, the other two in grammar school.
A wake for Kelly will be held 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at McNulty’s Funeral Home, 3006 Middletown Road.
A funeral Mass will be said Thursday morning at 9.30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church on Roberts Avenue. The burial will be in Ireland.
Irish Echo GAA correspondent Peter Nolan said he remembered Kelly very well from his playing days at Gaelic Park in the 1990s when he played both football and hurling.
But it was in hurling that Kelly was a particular standout.
“John played for New York as well as Clare and in hurling he was one of the best players around. He was on the leading scorers list every year,” Nolan said.

Note: Anyone with any information about the shooting is urged to call (718) 822-5414. Callers may remain anonymous.

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