Dublin shooting ‘endangered local schoolchildren’

Gardai believe gunman may have shot himself by accident while fleeing Glasnevin attack

A garda at the scene of a shooting in Hillcrest Park off  Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin this morning.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

A garda at the scene of a shooting in Hillcrest Park off Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin this morning. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 15:26

Residents of Glasnevin in north Dublin have said a shooting incident in the area this morning endangered the lives of local schoolchildren.

Locals said the shooting in which a man suffered serious stomach injuries, occurred at the entrance to a laneway between Glasnevin Avenue and Hillcrest Park, a popular short cut close to three schools.

The shooting took place at about 8.15 am, minutes before the laneway would have become busy with children returning to school after the summer break.

It is understood the 52-year-old man, who was known to cycle frequently between Glasnevin and Ballymun, was attacked as he approached the laneway from Glasnevin Avenue.

He made his way into a nearby garden where he was attended by locals who called the gardai and the ambulance services. The man was taken to the Mater hospital.

A short distance away, at the other side of the laneway in Hillcrest Park, gardai found a second man aged 31. He was taken to Beaumont with gunshot injuries to his leg. A shotgun was located close to the scene.

Gardaí are investigating whether the younger man shot himself in the leg by mistake while fleeing the scene of the shooting.

The intended victim has been described as a career criminal who was heavily involved in crime in the Ballymun and Finglas areas and who has links to the drugs trade.

As the area was being sealed off for a technical examination this morning, two bicycles could be seen propped against the wall of a nearby house.

Both had Garda evidence bags beside them. A third bicycle was some distance away but inside the Garda cordon.

Numbered, yellow evidence signs were visible at several locations in the laneway, while in Hillcrest Park a second Garda cordon contained some clothes, a white training shoe, a belt and a baseball bat.

People in the tree-lined estates said the incident was completely out of character for the mature residential area.

A number of retired people, many of whom were walking dogs, spoke of the numbers of children who used the laneway on schooldays, pointing out that today is the first day back at school.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to contact them at Ballymun Garda station on 01 666 4400 or on the Garda confidential telephone number 1800666111.