herald

Thursday 23 October 2014

Six shots fired in front of playing children

CHILDREN played within metres of Dublin’s latest gangland shooting in which six shots were fired at the victim.



Justice Minister Alan Shatter is to be questioned in the Dail about garda resources after the gun attack in a quiet city neighbourhood.

Declan O'Reilly (30) was left fighting for his life after being hit three times in the chest and arms in a laneway in Harold's Cross, where he was lured for a meeting.

Children – some as young as 11 – were at soccer training close by as a hitman opened up.

The gunman then escaped on a bicycle into rush-hour traffic and nearly collided with a car.

O’Reilly was acquitted of the killing of a cellmate in Mountjoy jail and gardai believe the man who shot him waited four years for the opportunity.

O'Reilly, was alleged to have stabbed Crumlin-based criminal Derek Glennon to death in Mountjoy jail in 2007, but was acquitted.

Gardai are investigating whether the shooting was a revenge attack arranged by associates of Glennon for the jail stabbing.

“Things are very tense in Crumlin. All units are on alert today,” a source said.

Meanwhile, witnesses to the shooting, in a laneway beside a football club where boys were playing, say the shooter was going so fast he nearly hit a car.

O'Reilly, from Parnell Road in Harolds Cross, managed to flee his killer and collapsed beside the clubhouse of Harolds Cross Boys’ Football Club.

“I saw two men and a boy with a dog in the laneway, and they seemed to be arguing and using bad language.

“Then, within seconds, I saw this man cycling down the lane very quickly,” one witness told the Herald.

Lying

“He was going down the middle of the road and he had to swerve to get out of the way of a car that turned into the lane and then he turned left and cycled off.”

The witness later saw O'Reilly lying on the ground in the car park of the football club, being attended by ambulance crews.

“He was conscious, and they were strapping up his arm,” the witness said.

This all happened while the youngsters continued to train nearby.

The scene remained sealed off today pending a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.

Searches for the weapon were ongoing, including behind walls leading to the scene which is situated just behind Kenilworth Motors in Harolds Cross.

Garda tape was visible between the gates of the football club and the clubhouse itself,

indicating where O'Reilly collapsed after stumbling from the scene just outside the gates where he was shot.

Up to six shots were fired at O'Reilly and he was hit three times. He was rushed by ambulance to St James's Hospital.

One of the wounds was causing serious concern as medics treated the victim. Six bullet casings were taken from the scene for ballistic tests.

Witnesses should contact Terenure garda station on 01 6666400, or the confidential line, 1800 666111.

Gardai are investigating whether the shooting was linked to thug Glennon's prison death.

O’Reilly broke down in tears at the Central Criminal Court when the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty last February.

During a three-day trial, the jury had viewed CCTV footage of a brief struggle between the two men before prison staff arrived on the scene.

O'Reilly, who was serving a jail sentence for road traffic offences, told gardai Glennon had been bullying him for months.

He said the criminal forced him to hide syringes, drugs and mobile phones, threatening that his brother would be shot.

He had been terrified every day to leave his cell, he said.

Glennon had been serving a five-year sentence for manslaughter and a consecutive five-year term for escaping custody.

Gardai want to speak to anyone who was near the scene of yesterday's attack between 6pm and 6.30pm.

Witnesses should contact Terenure garda station on 01 6666400, or the confidential line, 1800 666111.

hnews@herald.ie



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