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Donegal immigrant shot dead in Philadelphia

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A Donegal man was gunned down in Philadelphia last week as he tried to tackle two armed thieves who had just robbed the construction business where he worked.

Martin McConigley, from Fanad, was shot multiple times inside his car as he chased after the two gunmen along a West Philadelphia street on Friday afternoon, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department said.

McConigley’s business partner, Sean Clinton had been waiting for him at their office when the two robbers held him up at gun-point just after 3 p.m. The suspects locked Clinton in a garage and made off with a briefcase containing the company’s payroll, police said. McConigley arrived just as the two suspects were fleeing from the premises.

The Donegal man was fatally shot through the windscreen of his vehicle as he gave chase, said Capt. James Brady of the Philadelphia police homicide squad.

Tom Conaghan, director of the Philadelphia Immigration Resource Center, said the Irish immigrant community was stunned by the brutal shooting and many were distraught over the Irishman’s death. McConigley was married and had a 6-month-old son.

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"He was a good, humorous man, he enjoyed life," Conaghan said. "He came out here and worked hard. He was an immigrant you’d be proud of."

McConigley’s remains were to have been flown back to Ireland early this week.

While police have yet to arrest any suspects, homicide detectives are actively working on leads in the investigation.

"We have a sense of direction on this. We don’t think it was a murder mystery. We believe somebody had been watching them," Brady said.

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