Locals shocked to hear of man being shot in front of wife and children

Andy Connors was in a room with his wife, three of his six children and a niece when a man shot him

 Gardaí and crime scene investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting  at Botherboy Saggart, Co Dublin. Andy Connors  was shot dead in his home  on Monday  night.  Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Gardaí and crime scene investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting at Botherboy Saggart, Co Dublin. Andy Connors was shot dead in his home on Monday night. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 01:02

Locals in the village of Saggart were “shocked” to hear a man had been shot in front of his children at his home while many of them were inside watching the Rose of Tralee on television.

Andy Connors (45) was shot multiple times to his upper body in his home at Botherboy, Co Dublin, on Monday night at about 11pm. He was brought to Tallaght Hospital but died shortly before midnight.

Neighbour Mervyn Ennis said Mr Connors and his wife Anne had six children, two older boys in their late teens and early 20s, two teenage girls, and a younger daughter and son aged about nine and 10. “The two youngest made their Communion last year. Andy was a very proud man that day,” Mr Ennis said.

He said Mr Connors was in a room with his wife, three of his children and a niece when a man fired a number of shots at him. Gardaí believe the killer was aided by others and was brought to and from the scene by at least one accomplice. “It’s horrific this has happened in a family home. Terrible.”

Mr Ennis, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said he and his wife were watching the Rose of Tralee when their three dogs started barking about 11.15pm. “We looked outside and saw flashing blue lights,” he said.

When the couple walked across the road to find the reason for the commotion, they saw Mr Connors on a stretcher receiving CPR from the emergency services. “We were told he had been shot. The children were screaming,” he said. “We were very shocked that this has happened in a rural area.”

Mr Ennis said he had known Mr Connors before he moved to the area with his family four years ago through his work as a social worker with Traveller groups in Tallaght for almost 20 years. “I’ve known Andy since he was a boy,” he said.

Mr Connors, who said he was a horse and caravan trader, had previously lived in a large house called The Villa on Blessington Road, Tallaght. He was forced to put the property up for sale when the Criminal Assets Bureau served on him a demand for €160,000 for unpaid tax on income he could not explain. He had had a number of convictions.

Mr Ennis said Mr Connors had been a friend and a good neighbour. “Andy was always dressed up. A funny guy. He was very approachable ,” he said. “The only problem I ever had was when relatives had horses around the place.”

Mr Ennis said the family to moved to England last August and returned this May. When they returned, he said construction of the walls in front of the family home began.

As the Garda forensic team examined the property yesterday, the family’s two dogs played in the dirt. At least two mobile homes could be seen at the back of the property. A silver BMW with British registration plates was parked to the side of the house.

Opposite Mr Connors’ house are garden allotments and sheep grazing in the next field.

A woman who has lived in the area for most of her life said people knew each other well around the centre of the village but not on the outskirts. “That’s shocking to be killed in your own home. I hope it doesn’t bring more trouble here now,” she said.