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Monday 20 August 2018

Window cleaner was followed day before shooting

John O’Regan was shot dead as he cycled to work
John O’Regan was shot dead as he cycled to work

A window cleaner shot dead while cycling to work had been followed on his route the previous day, an inquest heard.

John O'Regan (48) left his home in Barnewall Gardens, Ballymun, shortly after 8.30am on April 15, 2014.

He rounded the corner on to Gateway Avenue, where he was shot by a lone gunman who was also riding a bike.

No known motive has been established, and the shooting remains unsolved, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Mr O'Regan's partner, Jackie Hogg, said that before he left the house he told her a neighbour had died suddenly.

Screaming

"He had worked in security and after that he took up odd jobs and window cleaning. He enjoyed that work. I helped occasionally," Ms Hogg said.

"John came in and told me about the neighbour who had died. He was shocked.

"He said, 'You never know what's going to happen'."

Mr O'Regan left the house saying he would not be long, and that was the last time he spoke to her, Ms Hogg said.

Minutes later, she received a call from her son who said he had heard that someone had been shot in the area.

Witness Brendan Connaughton, a labourer, was working at a local primary school when he heard five to six shots ring out.

"They were loud bangs, like caps going off," he said.

Then he heard screaming and saw a man cycling slowly towards the Ballymun Road.

"I saw him put what looked like a silver gun inside his jacket," Mr Connaughton said.

"He was cycling slowly as if nothing had happened, as if he had done nothing wrong."

Gda Damien Duffy arrived at the scene at 8.47am and said Mr O'Regan had no pulse and was not breathing.

He was rushed to the Mater Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9.25am. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

Supt Colm Fox said a full-scale murder inquiry was launched, with 277 lines of inquiry looked into and 135 witness statements taken.

"No definitive motive was established," Supt Fox told the court.

CCTV footage revealed that Mr O'Regan had been followed on his bike the previous day, the court heard. The file remains open.

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

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