Saturday 17 March 2018

'I threw glass at gunman', victim's pal tells inquest

Paul Cullen was shot multiple times in the Cabra House bar
Paul Cullen was shot multiple times in the Cabra House bar

A 26-year-old man shot dead in his local pub was about to turn his life around, an inquest has heard.

Paul Cullen, of Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, Dublin 7, was on the phone to his girlfriend when a gunman entered the Cabra House bar and fired multiple shots at him on March 3, 2013.

"The phone just went dead and when I rang back there was no answer," Michelle Dixon said.

The couple had been swimming and out to dinner with their daughter before he went to the pub shortly after 6pm.

The pair stayed in constant contact but when Ms Dixon returned to the pub shortly after 7pm Cullen had been shot.

Close friend Noel Dunne grew up with Cullen and said the pair were like brothers.

Cullen went to prison for five years and was released in 2012.

"We became very close when he was released from prison," Mr Dunne said.


"I don't know of any enemies Paul had. He seemed like he was going to change his life."

On the night of the killing, Mr Dunne saw a man wearing a white helmet enter the bar and walk directly over to Cullen.

"He was wearing a motorcycle jacket. He was taking big strides," Mr Dunne said.

The gunman fired and everyone jumped, he added.

"I threw a glass at the gunman... and then I threw a stool at him," Mr Dunne said.

"He pointed the gun at me and then walked out. I chased him."

The gunman escaped on the back of a waiting motorcycle.

Cullen was pronounced dead at the scene, with the cause of death being multiple gunshot wounds.

His mother Patricia Cullen said he had been in great form on the day of his death and had visited her with his daughter.

"That was the last time I saw him alive," she said.

Cullen got involved in drugs at the age of 16 when he started taking hash and cocaine, she said.

Later he was involved in an altercation with gardai and received a prison sentence.

"We tried to get him to move to the UK to start fresh, but he didn't stay there," Ms Cullen said.

Detective Inspector Des McTiernan said the investigation was ongoing.

Gardai took 229 statements and searched a large number of properties, but nobody has been charged with the murder.

"We are still appealing to the public for assistance. The investigation is live and open," Det Insp McTiernan said.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

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