herald

Monday 18 December 2017

'I know how those parents are feeling'

THE murder of a teenage girl in Dublin last night evoked memories of the shooting dead of young mother Donna Cleary in 2006.

Donna (22) was shot dead after a man opened fire with a handgun outside a house in Dublin after he was refused entry to a party.

Today, Donna's mother Kathleen Cleary said her thoughts were with the parents of the 16-year-old girl who died of gunshot wounds in the early hours of this morning.

Her mother and father, Peter, are pictured with Donna's son Clayton.

"I feel sorry for her parents," said Mrs Cleary today. "I think I know what they're feeling," said the 62-year-old mother who still grieves with her husband Peter for Donna, who lived with her two-year-old son Clayton and her parents in Kilmore, in the north of the city.

On the night of the shooting, Donna who worked at a cafe, Berth 49, in Dublin Port, was a guest at a house party in Adare Green in Coolock.

Three men arrived at the house shortly after 2am but were told they were not invited. As they made off, one of them threw a pot plant which smashed into a door.

Donna was among a small group who cleaned up the mess as other guests arrived. The three men returned in a silver Volvo at around 2.30am and one fired five shots into the house door and window. Donna was hit in the chest. She staggered into the house but was pronounced dead later in Beaumont Hospital.

The then Justice Minister Michael McDowell called her killing "a watershed" and requested tougher sentencing for murder.

Gardai later arrested a 24-year-old man Dwayne Foster whom they suspected of carrying out the shooting. Foster, of Woodbank Avenue, Finglas, was questioned about the shooting. He was found unresponsive in his cell in Coolock garda station and was later pronounced dead in hospital. While in custody, the father-of-four had lied to a doctor by telling him he was on a methadone treatment programme and was given twice the maximum dose of methadone that a new user would usually receive.

The Clearys expressed their dismay last December at news of a cost-saving decision to close at night-time an array of garda stations across Dublin.

"Most crime happens at night. That's when the guards are most needed. No one can arrange for crime only to happen before 9pm," said Peter Cleary.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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