Gardaí release photo of man killed in Dublin shooting

McVerry:‘He was harmless, quiet, likeable. He had drug problem, had tried to address it’

Martin O’Rourke (24) from George’s Hill, Dublin 7 was shot dead, apparently in a case of mistaken identity. Photograph: Garda

Martin O’Rourke (24) from George’s Hill, Dublin 7 was shot dead, apparently in a case of mistaken identity. Photograph: Garda

 

Gardaí have released a photograph of the man shot dead in Dublin on Thursday as they appeal for witnesses to the botched gun attack.

Martin O’Rourke (24) from George’s Hill, Dublin 7 was shot dead, apparently in a case of mistaken identity, early Thursday afternoon on Sheriff Street, Dublin.

Gardaí believe the intended target is a criminal closely associated with murdered gang figure Gary Hutch.

The victim may have been buying drugs when the killer struck. Up to six shots were fired before the killer escaped by bicycle.

The victim was hit in the head. He died later in the Mater hospital. He was standing outside Noctor’s pub when the killer arrived and he tried to run when he saw the gun.

This decision may have convinced the gunman he had the right target.

Video footage of the immediate aftermath of the murder was recorded by a passerby and posted online, including images of ambulance workers trying to save the man’s life.

The killer abandoned the bicycle at the lower end of Sheriff Street Lower before exiting on to Seville Place – the road that runs from the Five Lamps to the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

Gardaí said the gun believed to have been used was found in the vicinity .

Earlier on Friday Social activist Fr Peter McVerry said there will be no remorse from drug gangs over the shooting dead of a man in a case of mistaken identity in Dublin on Thursday.

Fr McVerry described the victim, Martin O’Rourke, as “harmless, quiet, likeable. He had a drug problem and had tried to address it. He made attempts to overcome them, but relapsed. He was trying to overcome his addictions,” he said.

“The large drug gangs live in a bubble of their own, they are focused on their money and their lifestyle

“To them, people come in two categories – those who are of use, and those who are of no use or an obstacle, they don’t count to them.

“They have no remorse, no tears will be shed by that gang over the killing of an innocent person,” Fr McVerry said on Newstalk Breakfast.

“In the long term the governmentt will have to look at the areas these young people come from, deprived areas. They see their future as signing on the dole. Joining one of these gang is a way to achieve the lifestyle they aspire to.

“The young man who committed this crime would have been offered €5,000 or €10,000.”

The killer’s intended target is a gangland criminal in his early 30s who lives locally.

He has 50 convictions and served six years for a conspiracy to carry out an armed robbery.

He joined with the late Gary Hutch (34) in one crime, though it was botched.

Hutch was killed in Spain last September by the Kinahan gang – which sparked the current feud that has now claimed five lives.

Not a criminal

The victim was not immediately identified by gardaí because he was not carrying identification.

He was not a criminal figure so he was not recognised by gardaí on the scene.

He had previously come to the attention of the authorities as a “rough sleeper”, having been homeless for a period.

If it is confirmed he was killed by mistake, his death will bring to four the number of people the Kinahan side of the feud has murdered since last September.

During that time Hutch’s associates have killed one person: father-of-one David Byrne (33), Crumlin, in the gun attack at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, in February.