Murder inquiry under way after man shot by gunman in Dublin

Window cleaner John O’Regan (48) was cycling when he received bullets in upper torso

Tue, Apr 15, 2014, 19:34

A murder investigation is under way in Dublin after a man was shot dead outside a school in Ballymun this morning.

John O’Regan (48) was cycling along Gateway Avenue when another cyclist approached him and shot him a number of times in the upper torso. Local residents said they heard as many as six shots and gardaí believe the attacker used a handgun.

Mr O’Regan was not known for serious criminality and investigators were last night attempting to establish a motive for the shooting.

Superintendent Paul Moran said gardaí are looking for a man who was seen leaving Gateway Avenue on a bicycle shortly after the shooting, going towards the city centre along the Ballymun Road.

The man was wearing a high-vis top and a baseball cap. He was also cycling on the footpath at a time when many motorists and pedestrians would have been in the area. “We have a particular interest in determining who this person was,” said Supt Moran.

Speaking to reporters today, Supt Moran said gardaí have taken statements from a number of witnesses and are conducting house to house inquiries as well as checking CCTV footage. An incident room has been set up at Ballymun Garda station and a post-mortem was due to be carried out last night by deputy State pathologist Michael Curtis.

The victim worked as a window cleaner and travelled along Gateway Avenue every day from his home in the nearby Barnewall Gardens. A local who knew him said he had moved to Ballymun from Finglas and had a morning “routine”. He was married and had one adult son. Other neighbours described him as a decent, quiet man.

The shooting occurred near a junction in a small cul-de-sac a short distance from the Ballymun Road. Neighbours said they were “surprised and shocked” at the shooting. One local said “this is a quiet area of Ballymun”.

The attack, which is the seventh gun murder so far this year, was condemned by local representatives. “The shooting was carried out in broad daylight in rush hour traffic, very near to schools and busy pedestrian areas,” said Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McAuliffe, who called for a dedicated garda unit to tackle gun crime in the capital. “This is a tight-knit community that has been left in shock by what has happened,” he added.

Fine Gael local election candidate Noel Rock said the shooting was “as brazen as it gets”. He added that shootings in broad daylight were becoming “depressingly frequent”. He said the fact that the attack occurred “practically across the road” from the local garda station made it all the worse.

“This isn’t welcome here in Ballymun, and I would condemn it in the strongest possible terms - as would all local people,” he added. “People are fed up of this… and more needs to be done to stamp this out.”

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact Ballymun Garda Station on 01-6664400, the Garda confidential line on 1800-666 111 or any Garda station.