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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Man shot 12 times in assassination attempt making good recovery

Gardai at the scene of last month’s shooting in Ballyfermot
Gardai at the scene of last month’s shooting in Ballyfermot

A man who was shot 12 times in a city gun attack is making a good recovery in hospital while gardai try to keep a lid on a west Dublin feud.

Charlie Cooper (38) was targeted at his home in Parslickstown Green in front of his two young children last month.

A lone gunman shot him through a window at the rear of the property before chasing him out of the house and firing several more shots.

It was initially believed the victim had been hit up to six times, but doctors subsequently established he had 12 separate gunshot wounds.

Gangster

Despite his injuries, sources said he was making good progress as detectives from Blanchardstown Garda Station continue their investigation.

Increased armed patrols and checkpoints have been rolled out across Blanchardstown in an effort to prevent any further attacks linked to the feud.

Detectives believe Mr Cooper may have been targeted because of his friendship with a 39-year-old gangster who was previously part of the Westies gang.

His pal has been involved in a bitter feud with feared criminal Jason 'Jay' O'Connor (38), which has already led to one murder and a number of other violent incidents.

Gardai suspect that associates of O'Connor are behind last month's attack and, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, called to his home.

It is now feared that further attacks will be carried out by the feuding gangs.

"There were serious concerns this feud had the possibility to escalate even further, and the reality is that this will now happen following last month's shooting," a source said.

"However, extra resources have been deployed to the area in a preventative measure."

No arrests have yet been made in relation to the incident, which happened at around 8.20pm on December 5.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Supt William Carolan of Blanchardstown Garda Station said: "We have set up a number of armed, high-visibility checkpoints in the area."

He added that a man wearing a balaclava and dark clothes managed to get into the back garden of Mr Cooper's property.

"Our information is that a person went to the rear of an address and fired a number of shots through the window there," he said.

Supt Carolan confirmed that the victim's two young daughters were home at the time of the shooting.

Detectives are working on the theory that Mr Cooper may have been targeted simply because of who his friends are.

His friend, a career criminal, has been involved in a long-running feud with O'Connor, which has meant that gardai have had to deploy extra armed patrols in the Mulhuddart and Blanchardstown areas over the past 18 months.

The gang war centres on the two criminals, who were formerly close pals and members of the infamous Westies who terrorised Dublin well over a decade ago.

Bitter

The pair split up around the time that Westies leaders Shane Coates (31) and Stephen Sugg (27) were shot dead in Spain in 2004 and buried in concrete under a warehouse.

O'Connor's bitter enemy survived an assassination attempt last year when a gunman tried to take him out.

O'Connor himself has survived at least two hit attempts. In the aftermath of one of those incidents, he reacted with a rant to a newspaper reporter.

"I'll tell you a story, there's going to be a f***ing war in Blanchardstown - they are f***ing dead, stone f***ing dead," he warned.

O'Connor was previously in the headlines when he had two of his fingers chopped off with an axe in an attack by Real IRA members on the orders of their boss, Alan Ryan. Ryan was murdered in 2012.

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