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Friday 23 February 2018

'He shot my daddy 6 or 7 times and then walked out' - Connors' girl describes hit

Anne Connors, wife of Andy Connors. Photo: Colin Keegan
Anne Connors, wife of Andy Connors. Photo: Colin Keegan

The children of a criminal shot dead in his home told how a gunman in a balaclava walked into their kitchen and shot their father dead.

Andy Connors' wife, Ann Connors, four of his six children and a niece were in the house at the time. Connors was later buried in a gold-plated coffin.

One of his daughters told how she was pushed to the ground by the gunman, who entered the house through the back door into the kitchen shortly before 11pm that night.

Balaclava

"A man came to the door wearing a black balaclava, bullet- proof vest and black gloves. He walked in the door. He grabbed me and pushed me to the ground. He had a gun in his right hand," the child said in her deposition, read out at Dublin Coroner's Court.

Family members wept as the details of Mr Connors' violent killing on August 19, 2014 were recounted.

Andrew Connors.
Andrew Connors.

"Daddy didn't make it to the hall, he shot him. Then he walked out of the house and drove off. I went down the hall and saw mammy holding daddy," said Miss Connors.

Mr Connors (46) had been "in good form" earlier that evening, said neighbour Keith Brennan. "He was 100pc flying and in good humour. He didn't mention any threats," said Mr Brennan. The pair had a few drinks at a pub before returning to Connors' home at about 10pm.

Detective Garda Con Harrison said access to the "substantial dormer bungalow house" was through "substantial" gates.

Another daughter said she was playing in her bedroom when she heard a scream from the kitchen. She described the gunman holding what she thought was a Mac-10 machine gun in his right hand.

"He shot my daddy six or seven times. My daddy fell back onto my mammy. The man walked out," she said.

A 999 call was made at 10.55pm. Mr Connors - of the Old Pound, Boherboy Road, Saggart, Co Dublin - was unresponsive when gardai and paramedics arrived at 11.09pm. He was rushed to Tallaght Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11.58pm.

The cause of death was gunshot wounds to the chest, according to State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.

Ms Connors asked the coroner if there was anything the family could have done to save him. Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said Mr Connors suffered direct injuries to his heart and died within seconds. "There was nothing you could have done," she said.

Detective Inspector John Walshe, of Tallaght Garda Station, said gardai had explored 299 lines of inquiry, taken 161 witness statements and arrested one person as part of a substantial investigation into the death.

A file was sent to the DPP but there has been no prosecution in relation to the killing. The investigation remained open. The jury at the inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown.

Connors was a major player in a gang of thugs who spread a campaign of terror during hundreds of organised burglaries.

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