I shot my friend by accident, claims suspect in city flat killing
A MAN who shot his pal in a booze-fuelled row at a north Dublin apartment is unlikely to face a murder charge, sources have revealed.
The 51-year-old suspect, who lived in the apartment at Larch Hill in Santry, has admitted shooting Ned Flanagan (50) on Wednesday night and was still being questioned at Ballymun Garda Station today.
The Herald understands that he has told detectives that the shooting was a tragic accident and that he panicked and fled the scene shortly after shooting his friend twice in the head with a handgun.
Garda forensic experts are now working to establish if the suspect's account is consistent with the injuries suffered by Mr Flanagan, and they are also obtaining full statements from at least two other people who were in the apartment at the time. Bizarrely, in the hectic and confused hours after the shooting, gardai were working on the theory that the suspect in the case was actually the victim.
This was because Mr Flanagan had no identification on him and his face had been terribly disfigured after being shot at very close range.
A source explained: "No decision has been made yet in relation to whether the suspect will be charged with murder, it is early days -- but the indications are that this was an accident."
Last night, the sister of Ned Flanagan's 12-year-old son Conor explained that officers called to their Darndale home at 4am yesterday requesting photographs of the gun victim.
Grace, who is in her early 20s, explained: "The gardai came and beat down our door at 4am demanding pictures of him but they wouldn't tell us what happened.
"They came later asking us whether Ned had a tattoo of 'Eddie' on his arm. It was in memory of his dad."
Despite having a heavy drinking problem, Mr Flanagan had never been in trouble with gardai and has been described as a doting father to his son Conor -- who he had planned to go on a camping trip with him.
"They were very close -- Ned lived for Conor and absolutely loved every second he spent with him," said Grace, who added that Mr Flanagan worked odd jobs, such as window cleaning. At one stage, he lived in a caravan behind Belcamp College.
His mother Lilly died two years ago while his father died a decade ago. Mr Flanagan regularly drank at Kyle's pub in Coolock and the suspect was also a regular there.
The suspect handed himself into Coolock Garda Station before midday yesterday after consulting with a local priest.