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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Killer gunman was shot himself one month later

Colm Owens
Colm Owens

The prime suspect in the 2010 murder of a father of one who was gunned down at work was himself murdered a month later, an inquest has heard.

Colm 'Collie' Owens (34), from Dunsoughly Avenue, Finglas, was shot dead at the Corn Store shop in the Grove Industrial Estate, Finglas, on July 9, 2010.

He was killed instantly after the gunman fired bullets into his head and heart.

Owens had no convictions for serious crime but was a known associate of some of the capital's most high-profile criminals, including slain gang boss Eamon Dunne.

Det Insp Colm Murphy told the inquest that the investigation remains open but that "the prime suspect in this case was murdered a month later".

REVENGE

The Herald understands that the gunman was notorious Finglas hitman Daniel Gaynor who was shot dead in revenge for Owens' murder.

Robert Owens - a brother of Colm - told Dublin Coroner's Court that he last saw the victim five days previously at their mother's house.

Asked by coroner Dr Brian Farrell if his brother was in fear for his life, Mr Owens said he was not aware of anything at the time.

"He seemed in very good spirits," he said.

Owens had been working at the Corn Store since it opened at the start of the year.

On the day of his death, he rang his boss at 11.55am looking to get more horse feed for the shop. He did not mention any worries for his own safety, the court heard.

Pigeon-racer Tommy Kane was in the store when Owens was shot shortly after midday.

He told the inquest that Owens had gone out the back to make a cup of tea for them when a tall, well-built man dressed all in black and wearing a ski-mask came into the shop.

"He walked past me and in behind the counter and, as he passed, he took a hand gun, black in colour, from his left pocket," he said.

"This guy went into the room where Collie was. Then I heard four bangs which I knew were shots. I panicked and ran out the front door and turned left towards the end of the factory."

As he ran, he saw a man in a silver car parked outside, faced toward the exit "ready to go".

TRAPPED

He was trapped in a cul-de-sac when he saw the gunman walk out of the Corn Store and get into the car before speeding off. Two men who worked nearby then went into the shop to check on Owens.

"The chaps came out and one said, 'They blew his head off'," said Mr Kane.

There were no signs of life when paramedics attended the scene. The post-mortem was carried out by state pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy who found gunshot wounds to the head, neck and heart which would have resulted in immediate death. Owens was shot six times in the attack.

The silver car, which was stolen, was found in a Finglas housing estate and attempts had been made to burn it out. The firearm was never recovered.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons unknown.

Ballyfermot criminal Keith Wilson is serving a life sentence for Gaynor's murder.

hnews@herald.ie

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