herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Bray gangster link to double shooting in pub

Gardai are investigating if gangsters based in Bray, Co Wicklow, were involved in the attempted murder of two young men in a packed Dublin pub at the weekend.

Innocent victims Niall Augusta (19), from Lombard Court, and Lee Ryan (20), from the Townsend Street area, are expected to make a full recovery after they were targeted in Oil Can Harry's pub in Lower Mount Street on Saturday night.

Gardai believe the two pals were the victims of mistaken identity and that the target was a man, known to them, who had been drinking in the pub earlier in the evening.

punishment

Sources say that this drug dealer who is considered a "heavy" is now based in Bray and may have had some involvement in a punishment shooting that happened in the seaside town last Thursday.

The intended target also has strong links to Dublin gangs including those linked to notorious criminals 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond.

Sources say detectives are examining if he was involved in a feud with a veteran Clondalkin-based gangster who is palling around with a young man whose late father was a henchman in Martin 'The General' Cahill's mob.

A source said: "The criminal activities of the intended target in Bray are being looked at very strongly in this investigation.

"However, he has built up a number of serious criminal enemies, particularly in the Crumlin/Drimnagh area."

Neither Mr Augusta nor Mr Ryan have any involvement in these kinds of activities and neither of the young men has any previous convictions.

However, they could well have been murdered in the city centre gun attack had their would-be assassins not been so "amateurish" in the botched hit that was witnessed by American tourists.

Two men wearing balaclavas and tracksuits burst through the doors, one armed with an automatic pistol.

They ran around the pub causing mayhem as people dived for cover.

One of the pair shot the two innocent young men who had been attending the christening party.

The gunmen then made their escape in a dark-coloured hatchback car which was driven by a third person in the direction of Ballsbridge.

Mr Ryan was hit in the abdomen with a shot from the handgun, while Mr Augusta was hit in his side. Both are still being treated in hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

It is believed a low-velocity handgun was used in the double shooting, and if the weapon had been of a higher grade both men could have been killed.

robbery

The highly-respected Oil Can Harry's is currently shortlisted for Pub of the Year in two categories.

Its owner Tim O'Connor said he first feared he was going to be the target of a robbery.

"I was sure they were coming for us, but they went running around the bar looking for somebody," he said. "They didn't seem to know where they were going. It felt like it went on for two hours, but they were actually there for two minutes."

kfoy@herald.ie

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