herald

Friday 18 August 2017

'They are after shooting me'

Gerard O'Neill. Photo: Courtpix
Gerard O'Neill. Photo: Courtpix

A MAN who drove himself to a garda station after being shot in the head had been stalked for days.

Detectives are investigating reports that Gerry O'Neill (33) had been targeted by two separate gangs.

In dramatic scenes around 9.40pm last night he was chased by a gunman on a motorbike who was recklessly firing shots on a city street.

After driving more than a kilometre from Seville Place

to Store Street, O'Neill stumbled into the garda station shouting: "They're after shooting me, they're after shooting me."

He is expected to survive even though the bullet went through his head and exited his mouth.

It is the second time in just over a year that he has escaped a murder attempt. In May 2012 he drove to Cloverhill Prison to escape his attacker.

Gardai at the front desk in Store Street station last night were shocked when O'Neill arrived at the station with blood pumping from a head wound.

"It was chaos in there and it wasn't helped by the fact that his car was pulled up outside on a Luas track which led to lots of onlookers gathering around," a source explained.

Today senior sources revealed that detectives are probing two different crime gangs suspected of being involved in the attempted murder.

Surveillance

One is the mob led by exiled gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson, while the other is an up-and-coming crew based in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

A source told the Herald: "Both these theories are being looked at but what is not in doubt is that Mr O'Neill had been under surveillance for a number of days – the culprits had built up a pattern of his movements.

"The gunman knew his movements and had been waiting for him in the Sheriff Street area last night.

"Gardai are also satisfied that last night's attempted murder is linked to the incident in which Mr O'Neill was lucky to survive when he was shot in Ballyfermot last May."

His Mercedes car was abandoned halfway on the path and on the Luas tracks which caused a suspension of tram services last night.

The back windscreen was blown out and there was a bullet hole in the front window.

Just a couple of minutes before abandoning his car at Store Street, O'Neill had been shot as he pulled up on a kerb at Seville Place and the junction of Oriel Street Lower.

He then drove from that location onto Amiens Street while being pursued by the hit team on a motorbike. The gunman continued to fire shots until O'Neill miraculously was able to rush into the doors of the garda station.

At around 11pm on May 15 last year, O'Neill had another lucky escape when the he was shot as he sat in his Audi A4 car outside Ruby Finnegans pub in Ballyfermot.

Wound

On that occasion a bullet just skimmed his chest. He also suffered a flesh wound to the shoulder. A window in the car was shot out.

In the aftermath of the shooting, he drove his Audi to the gates of nearby Cloverhill Prison for help arriving there shortly before 11.30pm.

He told prison officers that he had been shot and was given emergency treatment at the prison.

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