Tuesday 25 October 2016

'I thought gunshots were from hunters' - woman left shaken by brutal murder

A garda searching a hedge in Crooksling near Tallaght
A garda searching a hedge in Crooksling near Tallaght

A woman who lives near where a man was brutally murdered was left shaken after hearing the fatal gunshots that killed him.

Neil Fitzgerald (36) was gunned down in Hills Lane in Crooksling, between Blessington and Tallaght.

His body was discovered by a passer-by at 9am on Sunday.

One local woman was traumatised when she realised that gunfire she had mistakenly believed was hunters was actually the sound of a murder being carried out.

She heard the shots shortly after midnight and briefly stepped out of her house.

"Because we are in the country, it's [hunting] not unusual," she said.


"We saw a car leaving but just to think that that's someone losing their life. Even if I had rang the gardai last night, there is nothing … you don't expect that on your doorstep. It's dreadful, that's someone's son," she said.

"As soon as I saw all the vans [in the morning], I knew instantly.

"Whoever brought him up there knew exactly where they were going, they knew that lane," she said.

The woman who did not wish to be named, said that she had heard a number of shots but she wasn't sure exactly how many there were.

Gardai believe that Fitzgerald was shot six times.

They are keen to speak to anyone else who may have heard the gunshots.


A number of people living in the area had said that there had been people in the field, apparently hunting rabbits, on Friday night.

It is also a spot that is known for deer.

Residents in the area were shocked to learn of the grim events that had unfolded in the isolated and idyllic setting.

The lane where Fitzgerald was found has just five houses on it, and a handful of other houses are scattered nearby.

The area is quite settled with a number of young families with small children living there.

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