herald

Sunday 22 April 2018

Gunman 'trigger happy' before he shot best friend

A gunman who blinded a nephew of two convicted murderers was involved in two other firearms incidents in his local pub beforehand.

Patrick McCann (20) shot his best pal Luke Wilson (19) in the failed assassination attempt at Liffey Gaels GAA Club, Memorial Park, Inchicore, last January, resulting in Wilson losing his right eye.

Yesterday, McCann was jailed for 17 years for the attempted murder, which Mr Justice Paul Carney said was "like something from a Love/Hate script".

 

ARGUMENT

Gardai in McCann's native Ballyfermot were concerned about his "trigger-happy nature" in the weeks before he shot the teenager. Detectives twice followed-up "credible reports" that he had pulled a handgun in a local pub in the weeks before he shot Wilson.

A source said: "He pulled out a gun when he got into an argument with a customer.

"On another occasion he got into a scuffle with a bouncer and a gun fell out of his pocket. There will be no prosecutions in either of these cases because no firearm was found."

The Herald has also learned that McCann told detectives he feared for his life as another criminal wanted to shoot him.

Mr Wilson yesterday described the moment when he heard the gun being cocked and looked around to see his "so-called friend pointing it at me".

"I asked him, 'Are you going to kill me?' Then he fired," he said in an interview.

"He opened fire on me and got me in the neck. I dropped to my knees and turned to the side and I could feel another bullet hitting me just below the ear.

"My eyeball came out. I was holding it in my hand and he shot again. I put my hand up to block my forehead and it hit me in the arm. I was lying on the ground and was taking a seizure.

"He said, 'I am not going to kill you', and went to fire again, but thank God the gun jammed. I thought I was dead."

The Central Criminal Court heard yesterday that McCann shot his lifelong friend three times, which led to him losing his right eye.

Wilson's uncles Eric and Keith are both serving life sentences for gangland murders while another uncle, John, was shot dead in September last year.

The court was told that last January 13, McCann and Wilson met to get a gun at Memorial Park.

However, McCann turned the weapon on Wilson, shooting him in the neck, arm and face.

 

LENIENCY

McCann stood over him and tried to shoot him twice again, but the gun jammed.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said the message was not going to go out that gangland figures could have an assassination carried out by preying on vulnerable people in the hope the courts would show them leniency.

The last three years of McCann's 20-year sentence were suspended due to his early guilty plea.

McCann said he was asked to carry out the shooting because of his outstanding drug debt and was in fear.

kfoy@herald.ie

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