herald

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Woman is chief suspect in triple shooting which wounded baby

Relative of the victims, Arthur Collins, with a picture of his eight-month-old grandson
Relative of the victims, Arthur Collins, with a picture of his eight-month-old grandson

A woman is being treated as the chief suspect in a triple shooting which left an eight-month-old baby with around 15 shotgun pellets in his leg, it has emerged.

Gardai investigating the horrific gun attack in west Dublin have also recovered the firearm they believe was used in the shooting.

It comes as baby John, his mother Lynn Doyle (29) and a 17-year-old teenager continued to be treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

Yesterday, detectives arrested a 23-year-old woman in the north Wicklow area. She is being held on suspicion of being in possession of a firearm linked to the shooting.

This female's relative, a 48-year-old man, was arrested in the aftermath of the shooting in the Parslickstown area. He was detained after shotgun cartridges were found at his home.

Detectives now believe that a woman fired a number of shots at the home in Parslickstown Gardens, Mulhuddart, on Monday afternoon.

As part of the investigation, an operation was carried out by the Divisional Search Team near the scene of the shooting, which led to the recovery of a sawn-off shotgun. Officers believe that this weapon was used in the incident.

QUIZZED

The arrested man and woman, who are from the Mulhuddart area, were last night being quizzed at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Baby John may also require further surgery, as doctors attempt to remove all of the shotgun pellets that struck him. It is understood that 15 of these are lodged in one leg, while he also suffered injuries to his hand.

He was in his mother Lynn's arms when the shooter opened fire at the property.

Ms Doyle was hit by at least three pellets in the arm, while a 17-year-old teenager was struck in the abdomen.

Gardai are following a definite line of inquiry and believe the shooting is linked to an ongoing feud in the area.

As part of this feud, a property was shot at in the Mulhuddart area on December 3, but no injuries were reported.

The dispute is understood to have escalated in recent months after the collapse of a court case involving a serious knife attack.

Since then, a number of tit-for-tat attacks have been carried out, during which serious threats were made and property was damaged.

Gardai have kept a constant presence in the small cul-de-sac to prevent further bloodshed.

The intended victim of the shooting, Michael Collins, described the incident as "beyond evil".

"The bullet was meant for me but I ducked just in time. It's a disgrace - targeting a baby is beyond evil," he told the Herald.

"What did he do to anyone? It's my twin brother's baby who got shot. He's not even a year old now and got a bullet in the leg."

Another relative of the three victims described how the family was putting up a Christmas tree when shots were fired into the house.

Arthur Collins, whose son and grandson were injured in the shooting, also described those behind the incident as "the lowest of the low".

"All we were doing was putting up a Christmas tree, and the next minute, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. For nothing," he said.

Bangers

"To tell you the truth, I thought it was bangers. I ran out, I seen her holding the baby, I seen my son on the ground," he told reporters at the scene.

"Is it gone that far now that they're going to kill children before they kill people? This has to be the lowest of the lowest that I've ever come across in my life.

"My grandson is very bad in Temple Street and my son is very bad in Blanch Hospital.

"They could have killed someone here today. We went to Blanchardstown for this feud to be over… It's only starting now."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he was "horrified" at the shooting, which was carried out in his constituency.

"This was a shocking incident. I was horrified to learn about it," Mr Varadkar said.

"I know the gardai are conducting a detailed inquiry and it's important that they now be given the space to complete their work."

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