Saturday 20 January 2018

Gunman shoots couple in attack on city home

An innocent woman and her partnerare recovering in hospital today after both were shot in a gangland-style attack last night.

The couple were attacked at a Clondalkin house in Grange View Lawns just before 9.30pm.

They were named today as Robert Ellis (26) and his partner Sarah Hardiman (23).

Mr Ellis lives in Neilstown Drive, Clondalkin, while his partner Ms Hardiman is from Neilstown.

The attempted murder was witnessed by Ellis' sister Leanne.

Sources said a lone gunman, who had been lying in wait, approached the couple at the house and fired a number of shots from a small-calibre handgun.

Mr Ellis was hit at least once in the abdomen and Ms Ellis was shot in the arm. Their injuries are not life-threatening but the couple remained in Tallaght Hospital today.


Sources said that the attempted murder may have been carried out by criminals from the Ballyfermot area.

No arrests have yet been made in the investigation, which is being led by Clondalkin Garda Station.

"There has been a huge amount of tension in the area in recent weeks. The gunman last night showed complete disregard for human life," a source said.

It is understood that Mr Ellis was previously a witness to a murder that happened in Ballyfermot in 2011.

A local man said that he heard the injured woman tell gardai: "I only opened the door".

One neighbour said today that he was "shocked" to hear of the shooting and expressed disbelief at the news.

A friend of the victims said that the couple were "nice people" and said they would be in the area often visiting the homeowners where they were shot last night.

"When I arrived there were three ambulances and a fire engine with their lights flashing," another man told the Herald last night. "There were six garda cars full of armed detectives."

"I saw a woman being taken out of a house and being put into an ambulance.

"She had her arm in a sling," he said.

"I was told there was a fella inside, he had been shot and ambulance crew were still working on him."

Sources said that Mr Ellis was recently warned by gardai that his life was in danger. He is believed to have been the target.


Gardai sealed off the area and detectives were searching for a motorbike that left the scene after the shooting.

A 42-year-old resident told the Herald they counted at least seven squad cars at the scene.

"I couldn't believe it, the guards were all over the place. They were armed and I saw they were wearing those vests," he said.

A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade said the two victims were taken to Tallaght Hospital. He said some minor treatment took place at the scene but that CPR was not required.

The two were conscious and breathing when emergency services arrived on the scene.

Last night's attempted murder is not believed to be linked another shooting which happened at Cleggan Road in Ballyfermot last Friday night.

That shooting was witnessed by the target's six-year-old daughter.

The girl has been left traumatised after a gunman opened fire on her dad, Stephen Smith, as he was getting onto his moped at Cleggan Road in Ballyfermot, at 8.40pm last Friday.

Mr Smith, who is in his late 30s, tried to flee the scene and get his daughter to safety, but was so badly injured that he came off the bike as the gunman fled the scene.

He was taken to St James's Hospital, and later released.


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