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Saturday 10 December 2016

One-punch attack may have sparked drive-by shooting

David Douglas was shot three times in the chest
David Douglas was shot three times in the chest

The attempted murder of drug trafficker David Douglas may have been sparked by a pub brawl that saw him knock a man out with one punch.

Douglas (54) was blasted by a gunman just 100 yards from his home in Cabra, north Dublin, on Sunday night.

Sources said the shooting was not linked to organised crime. But detectives are examining reports that suggested Douglas was involved in a fight in a north Dublin pub last month.

“It seems the victim knocked another man out in a one-punch attack. This possibly led to the shooting,” a source said.

It is understood that the victim of the attack in the Dublin pub is not connected to the shooting incident in Cabra.

Complaint

The Herald has learned that Douglas has not made a statement of complaint to investigating garda at Mountjoy Garda Station.

Gardai were unaware of any threat to Douglas’s life ahead of Sunday night’s attack.

The father-of-one suffered at least three gunshot wounds to the chest after a car pulled up alongside him as he was walking his dog.

The gunman is thought to have fired from inside the car as it was driven by.

Neighbours raised the alarm and Douglas was rushed to the Mater Hospital, where his condition has been described as “serious but stable”.

On April 10, 2008, Douglas and three other men were stopped in a taxi as part of a surveillance operation in the Pearse Street area, following a tip-off. A black holdall bag containing 8kg of cocaine, worth €562,000, was recovered by gardai.

Telephone records between all four men in the three months beforehand were “a web of interconnection between all men”, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court later heard.

In December 2011, Judge Tony Hunt sentenced Douglas to 10 years in prison, with five suspended, after he heard that Douglas had a number of serious criminal convictions.

Among them was a conviction for shooting with intent to kill a garda during an armed robbery, for which he received a 12-year sentence at the Special Criminal Court in 1983.

A man who shared a prison cell with Douglas described him as a “gentleman” who helped him turn his life around.

“I woke up to the news that my good friend Daithi was shot and I’m still very upset about it, and that shows the affect this man has had on me as a person,” the man who gave his name as Gary told 98Fm’s Dublin Talks.

“In my opinion I’m going to give you what I know. For three-and-a-half years, he’s an absolute gentleman, he’s a character and funny.

“He’s someone you can turn to when you need to talk. I had problems with alcohol, he’d bring me to his room and talk me through it like a councillor, but he was a prisoner.”

Gary added that Douglas was a musician.

Folklore

“We actually started a band while in prison and we actually wrote ourselves into Irish prison folklore by being the first band to be transferred to other prisons to play music,” he added.

Locals said Douglas grew up in the house he lives in on Killala Road.

“He got in with a bad crowd a few years ago and it all wentdownhill,” said one woman.

Bullet casings from the gun were recovered by gardai on the footpath where Douglas was shot and members of the Garda Technical Bureau were due to carry out a forensic  examination of the scene.

Gardai in Finglas are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them on 01 666 7500, the  Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666.

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