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Tuesday 11 December 2018

'Merry Christmas' gun killer pictured buying treats for fellow lifers

Shay Wildes shopping at the Dublin supermarket PIC: SUN WORLD
Shay Wildes shopping at the Dublin supermarket PIC: SUN WORLD

This is jailed murderer Shay Wildes strolling around a Dublin supermarket after being let out of prison for the day to shop for himself and fellow inmates.

The exclusive picture shows Wildes, who was convicted of the 2001 "revenge execution" of Tallaght man Joe Cummins, in a Lidl store last weekend.

He is one of Ireland's most notorious killers and was previously acquitted of the 2003 contract killing of criminal Declan Griffin.

Wildes, from Tallaght, is one of a number of lifers incarcerated in the Independent Living Skills Unit in Wheatfield Prison who are allowed to carry out grocery shops as part of efforts to ease their reintegration into society.

The picture, obtained by the Sunday World, is the first recorded of Wildes since a video of him partying with drug lord John Gilligan and dealer John Daly in Portlaoise Prison in 2006.

Daly was shot dead the following year.

Alcohol

A source said the reality of Wildes' current life behind bars is far from a party.

"Lifers on the enhanced regime are escorted at all times by prison officers when allowed out on the shopping trips," the source said.

"The food purchased by the inmates is subjected to a rigorous check by officers when the inmate on shop duty returns to the prison.

"The food is then kept in a kitchen area where inmates are later allowed to cook their own chosen dishes, but no alcohol of any kind is allowed."

During his 2003 trial for the murder of father-of-five Cummins, the jury heard that Wildes shouted "Merry Christmas" as he shot him in the head at close range shortly after Cummins left the Dragon Inn in Tallaght on St Stephen's Day 2001.

He was jailed for 10 and five years respectively on two further counts of possession of ammunition.

As Cummins was falling, Wildes fired a second shot at him and a third as he lay fatally wounded on the ground.

During a series of garda interviews, Wildes admitted shooting Cummins, and said he did so because he wanted "revenge".

He claimed that 18 months earlier, Cummins had attempted to sexually assault his sister, Catherine Wildes, and hit her with a crowbar.

However, the court heard that no such complaint had ever been made to gardai.

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