Ballymun double murder: Mother of six and man shot dead in ‘local feud’

Niece of female victim was holding a baby when a bullet grazed her forehead

 

A man and a woman have died in a shooting in Ballymun, north Dublin, and two other people are being treated for injuries in hospital.

Gardaí had yet to confirm the identities of the victims on Wednesday evening but one of those killed was confirmed as a mother of six, aged in her 40s.

She was shot dead with the man, who was aged in his 30s, outside a house on Balbutcher Drive in the north Dublin suburb at about 4pm on Wednesday.

Two other people were taken to hospital with what were described as slight gunshot wounds.

One of them - a niece of the female victim - had been grazed in the forehead with a bullet. She was holding a baby at the time and the shooting caused her to drop the baby who was said to have been injured slightly.

Sources believe the attackers were intent on killing one man who managed to escape uninjured.

A large team of gardaí have moved in and sealed off the area. They have appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious or who was in Balbutcher Drive at around 4pm to contact gardaí. They are especially interested to hear from any drivers with dashboard cameras.

Gardaí are trying to establish if the double murder is linked to a feud in the area.

Those who died were very closely associated with a criminal shot dead and whose body was dumped in a laneway in Dublin 3½ years ago.

However, sources stressed the inquiry into the gun attack had only just begun and it would take time before the motive was confirmed.

Children at play

The area where the attack occurred is in a high-density local authority housing estate in Ballymun. Young children on their school holidays were at play on the street in the general area at the time.

Det Supt Colm Fox and Chief Supt Lorraine Wheatley giving a press conference at Ballymun Garda Station following the fatal shootings. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Det Supt Colm Fox and Chief Supt Lorraine Wheatley giving a press conference at Ballymun Garda Station following the fatal shootings. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Chief Superintendent Lorraine Wheatley indicated the killers may have used two cars. One car, an Opel Zafira with the registration 08-LS-3101 was found extremely close to the scene.

A Volkswagen Golf GTI with the registration 06-LH-3466 was found less than four kilometres away on Santry Close in Santry. This had been partially burnt out.

“We’re asking people who may be familiar with these cars to come forward with information,” the Chief Superintendent said.

Investigators also confirmed a single firearm was recovered near the scene which is currently being examined by the Garda Ballistics Section.

Armed gardaí and officers from the Garda Technical Bureau remained at the scene on Wednesday night and several tents had been set up.

Officials from the State Pathologist’s Office were also at the scene and are expected to conduct a post-mortem on the bodies. An incident room has been set up in Ballymun Garda Station.

“I’m going to appeal to anyone in the community and particularly anyone in the Balbutcher Drive area earlier today. We’re also appealing to anyone with dash cams, maybe delivery drivers or taxi drivers. That footage may be of some use,” Chief Supt Wheatley said.

She confirmed one child was in the house on Balbutcher Drive at the time and suffered minor, non-gunshot, injuries.

Chief Supt Wheatley refused to identify a motive or to say how many suspects gardaí are seeking.

“We’re at the very early stage of the investigation, the shooting took place at 4pm today,” she told reporters.

Informed sources said the killing appeared to be well planned and carried out by experienced criminals.

The scene of a shooting on Balbutcher Drive. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
The scene of a shooting on Balbutcher Drive. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Gardaí are asking anyone with information to make contact with them at Ballymun Garda Station on 01-6664400 or via the confidential line 1800-666111.

Armed checkpoints

Condemning the murders, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said: “This callous, cold-blooded violence has no place in our communities — the Government and Gardaí stand with the people of Ballymun against such despicable acts and will continue to ensure there is high visibility policing to combat such attacks, including extensive armed checkpoints across the city, for as long as necessary.

“These ruthless people have no regard for human life and this will not be tolerated. The Gardaí continue to confront this threat daily and are determined to see those involved brought to justice.”