Sister ‘infuriated’ by verdict of unlawful killing by person unknown

Joseph Rafferty from Dublin was shot twice outside his apartment in 2005

Joseph Rafferty was gunned down in 2005 as he made his way to work. Photograph: Gary Ashe /Allpix

Joseph Rafferty was gunned down in 2005 as he made his way to work. Photograph: Gary Ashe /Allpix

 

A 29-year-old man was shot dead at close range by a gunman as he made his way to work 11 years ago, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

Joseph Rafferty (29) from Hayworth Court, Ongar, Clonee, Co Dublin was shot twice with a shotgun outside his apartment on April 12th, 2005. Mr Rafferty suffered devastating injuries after the shots were discharged from just a few feet away. Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the shooting was a targeted killing.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell asked Mr Rafferty’s sister, Ester Uzell, if her brother was in fear of his life. She replied that he was and he had received death threats.

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Uzell said the verdict that her brother had been unlawfully killed by a person unknown was infuriating. She said her brother had come to the aid of another sister who had been assaulted.

“That line is hard to listen to because we know who killed Joseph. It makes me so angry. The case is still open and we hope that someone will come forward and give that small extra detail that’s needed for charges to be brought against Joseph’s killer,” she said.

Det Insp Richard McDonnell of Lucan Garda Station issued a plea for anyone with information to come forward. The shotgun was never recovered and the investigation remains open, he said.

“Several hundred people were interviewed and statements taken and there were a number of arrests and re-arrests made,” he said. The case is currently under review.

Hayworth estate resident Carmel Assad said her house overlooks the car park where the shooting took place. Between 9.20am and 9.30am that morning she was upstairs about to make the beds when she heard two loud bangs.

“It’s a sound like I never heard before, but I knew when I saw him coming from side of the van, stumble and fall that he’d been shot,” she said.

She saw a man leave the scene at speed holding a sports bag. “He wasn’t running, but he was moving fast. It looked like he knew exactly what he was doing. He was chubby, not fat, in his early 30s with a goatee beard and of average height,” she said.

Sgt John O’Donnell of Blanchardstown Garda Station had patrolled the estate in an unmarked car minutes before the shooting. “Obviously, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said.

Another neighbour, Roland Ganiev, described hearing the gunshots, which he said sounded “like Chinese firecrackers” and saw a man running away wearing a yellow jacket with the words ‘Rat Boy’ on the back.

Mr Rafferty had been shot in the chest and left leg. He staggered from his van across the car park and collapsed on the grass verge. The shot to his chest entered his right chest cavity and inflicted devastating injuries to his lungs and heart. The cause of death was a shotgun wound to the chest.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by a person unknown.