Friday 28 October 2016

Locals' horror as innocent man shot to death in broad daylight


Scene of shooting on Shelerin Road, Clonsilla.
Scene of shooting on Shelerin Road, Clonsilla.

A MAN was blasted to death by an assassin disguised as a woman and another man was injured in a reckless gangland hit carried out in broad daylight in west Dublin.

Keith Walker (36) died instantly when he was riddled with bullets as he was delivering birds to a pigeon club on Shelerin Road, Blanchardstown.

It's understood that Mr Walker - who was due to get married later this summer - was an innocent victim of mistaken identity after he got out of a car linked to the intended target.

Amid the bloody mayhem an innocent taxi-driver in his 30s was also shot twice in the arm.

Several bystanders were lucky they weren't hit amid the heavy gunfire just after 6pm yesterday evening.

The killer, said to have been dressed as a woman, fired bullets from a high velocity weapon which may have been a machine pistol. He then fled the scene. The shocking incident happened near a youth club and a creche.

"It is a miracle that gardai are not dealing with six murders because this fella was shooting indiscriminately," a senior source said last night.

One local told the Herald how she heard the rapid gunfire.

"I was talking to a friend of mine when the Angelus bell (at the nearby church) was ringing.

"Just as the bells stopped, we heard a lot of shots. It sounded like a machine-gun. And then there was total silence. We looked at each other and realised it was gunshots.

"We're very shocked by what's happened. Nobody was expecting anything like this," she said.

Another witness was passing on a bus and saw the massive garda response.

"There were loads of garda cars. I looked down into the car park from the upper deck of the bus and I could seek gardai standing around a blue sheet lying on the ground.

"There appeared to be the shape of a body under the sheet. It was so surreal," she said.

"I'm shocked this happened so close to the creche. They are normally open until 6pm. Innocent people or children could have been hurt. Or children could have been mentally scarred if they saw violence."

The dead man, Mr Walker from Clondalkin, was described as an innocent man who had no previous criminal convictions.

A notorious hitman who was a former senior member of the infamous Westies gang was the intended target of yesterday's murder. It is understood that the victim had been doing him a favour by visiting the pigeon club. It is believed that the gunman thought that Mr Walker was the gangland thug, who was recently officially warned by gardai of an active threat against his life.

The intended target had previously been savagely assaulted by slain Real IRA figure Alan Ryan's mob in Dublin's Fairview Park.

He is also the chief suspect for the gangland murder of Lithuanian crime boss Gintaras Zelvys (43) at a business park in Rathcoole, west Dublin in May 2013 and was arrested for this.

Sources said that the target has been in a bitter dispute with two criminal brothers based in the Blanchardstown area.

One of them is being investigated for being behind yesterday's attack.

Local councillor David McGuinness said: "This is a severe breach of the law. I call on everybody to fully support the gardai in their efforts to get to the bottom of this.

"It happened around 6pm when a lot of commuters coming home from work were in the area and children would have been playing in the vicinity."

A 59-year-old local said: "This is the last thing we want for this area. It's very sad. I feel so sorry for the men that were shot and for their families."

The shooting victims were rushed to James Connolly Memorial Hospital where Mr Walker was pronounced dead.

His body was last night due to be removed to the City Morgue for a Post Mortem Examination.

A major garda investigation is underway and the scene was sealed off for forensic and technical examination.

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