Gardaí believe boy (16) shot by mistake


GARDAÍ BELIEVE a 16-year-old boy shot and seriously injured in a gangland attack in Dublin was shot by mistake because he was standing beside the person who gardaí believe was the intended target when the gunman opened fire.

The incident occurred in Dublin on Tuesday night and is the second time this year that a juvenile has been shot in error by a gunman targeting other people in the city.

In February Melanie McCarthy McNamara (16) was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Tallaght.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter described the latest incident as “barbaric and totally unacceptable”.

The attack occurred just after 9pm on Lismore Road in Crumlin, south Dublin. The victim, who lives locally, was standing on the street outside a house with at least two other people when a car pulled up and one of the occupants opened fire. Gardaí believe two shots were fired from a shotgun.

The victim was hit by pellets in the back and head and collapsed.

The two other young men he was with took cover until the gunman’s car sped off and the emergency services were called.

The injured schoolboy, who is a talented soccer player and has never come to the attention of gardaí, was taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital where he was still being treated last night.

He has undergone surgery for his injuries and his condition is described as serious but stable. His injuries are not life-threatening.

Gardaí believe at least two men carried out the attack.

A 21-year-old man was in custody last night after his arrest in Co Wexford yesterday in connection with the shooting while another man was arrested in Dublin last night.

The shooting is not believed to be linked to a feud between rival gangs in Crumlin and neighbouring Drimnagh.

Mr Shatter said that despite reductions in the Garda budget in recent years he believed the force had all the resources it needed to fight gun crime. He said officers continued to enjoy success against those engaged in organised crime and had the full backing of the Government.

“This is yet another example of the callousness and barbarism of some of those engaged in criminality in Dublin. Hopefully, this young man will recover from this event,” said Mr Shatter.

“We are going to continue to target those who engage in this type of behaviour, which is completely and totally unacceptable.”

Deputy Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan said the shooting was reprehensible, but stressed there was nothing to suggest it was an escalation in the bloody Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which has claimed 15 lives in a decade.

“The feuding in the area is constantly monitored and there is nothing to suggest that this is part of an escalation in any of the activities that are ongoing,” she said at an annual cross-Border crime seminar in Enniskillen.