herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Gardai 'warned of death threats every few weeks'

The partner of a man who was gunned down in a targeted 
attack has questioned why gardai were not watching him when they knew his life was in danger.

Anna Fox was giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Michael Taylor (55), a father of six from O'Brien Hall in Dublin city centre, who was gunned down by two assailants at his holiday home at Hands Caravan Park in Donabate on the afternoon of June 6, 2011.

She told Dublin Coroner's Court that he had been warned by gardai that his life was under threat and they would come out to see him about this "every few weeks".

"I cannot understand, if the police knew his life was under threat, why they were not watching him," she said.

Reports at the time of his death suggested that Mr Taylor may have been killed in revenge for a murder carried out by his son. Michael Taylor Jnr was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court in November 2011 of the 2007 murder of Paul Kelly.

Mr Taylor was shot moments after he and Ms Fox arrived at the caravan park.

She told the court that she stooped down to pick up her handbag as she got out of the car when she saw a man wearing a balaclava running toward them. Another man approached from the other side and called out "Mick" before opening fire.

"He was shot a few times and he ran around the car. That is when they ended up shooting him on the ground," she said.

Both men fired shots at Mr Taylor. Ms Fox told the inquest that she chased after the two men and saw them go through a side gate and get into a silver car to make their escape.

They were later seen running through an apartment complex near Donabate village and getting into another car. The first car was found burnt out nearby and the second was later found burnt out in Glasnevin.

Ms Fox went back to Mr Taylor, who was calling her name.

Her nephew, Darrell Fox, who has a caravan nearby, said that Mr Taylor was lying face down and he could see "two holes" in the back of his head. He was talking and trying to push himself up.

When gardai arrived they attempted to help Mr Taylor.

Garda Caroline Hyland said he was "shouting incoherently".

He was unresponsive by the time paramedics arrived. He was taken to Beaumont Hospital, where he later died.

devastating

The post-mortem was carried out by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, who found that Mr Taylor was shot multiple times, suffering a devastating head injury.

Detective Inspector Tony Howard said that a "high degree of planning" went into the attack.

While the family have indicated who they believe may be responsible, he said no arrests have been made or suspects identified.

The probe remains open, Det Insp Howard said, before appealing for witnesses to come forward "even at this late stage".

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons 
unknown.

hnews@herald.ie

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