herald

Friday 20 April 2018

Dad gunned down in front of wife

A WITNESS in the trial of a Wicklow man accused of murder saw a 27-year-old father of two struggle to open the front door of his home while he was repeatedly shot in the back by a hooded gunman in front of his partner and young son.

A statement from the witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was read out to the court at the trial of Garrett O'Brien (37), who denies fatally shooting Seamus O'Byrne at Tymon Park North, Tallaght, on March 13, 2009.

The witness, who gave his statement to gardai shortly after the killing, was playing with a group of friends on the green area of Tymon Park North.

He noticed two men standing at a laneway acting suspiciously. He told the gardai he had seen the same two men a few days earlier.

Later he noticed one of the men walking in front of him, talking on a mobile phone with his right hand in his pocket.

He described the man as tall and fat and noted that he was wearing a dark hooded tracksuit top with the hood pulled up.

The witness told gardai that moments after he passed the man, he heard three loud bangs which he thought were bangers.

He turned around and saw Mr O'Byrne struggling with his front door keys and then saw the man on the phone shooting Mr O'Byrne in the back.

A woman was standing behind the gunman with a baby in her arms and was shouting: "What are you doing?"

The court heard the witness ran away and passed a light coloured car he believed to be a Volkswagen Passat, as it was similar to his neighbour's car.

He was going to stop and ask the driver for help when he realised the man in the car was the other man he had seen earlier with the gunman. Moments later the car drove past him at speed and he saw the gunman in the passenger seat.

hnews@herald.ie

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