Man murdered in Dublin as part of localised dispute, gardaí suspect

Father-of-one Patrick ‘Paddy’ Lyons was killed in Ballymun on Thursday night

The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

 

Gardaí suspect a man shot dead in north Dublin was murdered as part of a localised dispute having fallen foul of dangerous criminals. They do not believe his killing was linked to any wider gangland feud as the deceased was not involved in gangland crime.

Paddy Lyons, a 44-year-old father, was fatally shot in the Belclare estate, Ballymun, at about 9pm on Thursday. His remains were on the road at Belclare Terrace beside Poppintree Park when the emergency services arrived at the scene.

Mr Lyons had been shot several times, in the neck or head and in the body, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A sheet was place over his remains, out of respect, though a video of his dead body emerged on social media within hours of his killing.

Garda Headquarters appealed to members of the public not to share the video or any photographs of his remains on social media.

It was the second time in a week Mr Lyons’s family had been hit by tragedy as the dead man’s partner died last week after an illness, with the couple survived by their 10-year-old son.

The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy
The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

Mr Lyons lived in the Belclare estate where he was shot and while he had a number of convictions he was not regarded as a gangland figure. He was a drug user and his convictions related to his addiction, including possession of drugs and also public order incidents when he had clashed at times with gardaí.

When gardaí arrived on the scene of the murder on Thursday night they sealed off the area and the victim’s remains were left in situ overnight. Early on Friday morning Dr Linda Mulligan from the Office of the State Pathologist carried out a preliminary examination of the remains at the scene.

Mr Lyons’s body was then taken to the Dublin City Mortuary for a full postmortem examination, which was expected to confirm he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

“Investigating gardaí are appealing for anyone with information in relation to this incident to come forward and are appealing to anyone who was in the Belclare Terrace and Belclare Park areas between 8pm and 9.15pm yesterday evening to come forward,” Garda Headquarters said in a statement.

“They are particularly appealing to those with camera footage from the area at the time of the incident – including dash-cam and mobile phone footage – to make it available to them.

Gardaí believe at least five shots were fired during the attack and were still trying to establish an exact motive, though they believe it was linked to a local dispute. It was unclear how the killer or killers arrived at the crime scene and fled after the killing. The murder was being investigated by Ballymun gardaí.

The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy
The scene of the shooting on Belclare Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 on Friday morning. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

Local Fianna Fáil TD Paul McAuliffe who arrived at the scene on Friday morning said he had spoken to Taoiseach Micheál Martin about the shooting.

Responding to suggestions that residents in the area feel gardaí are overwhelmed, he said: “It all boils down to the number of guards on the street. We know it helps in local situations like this. Ballymun doesn’t have the guards it requires.

“We are all members of the local drugs taskforce. Residents tell us sometimes there are certain laneways that are supermarkets for drugs and they don’t understand why that can happen.

“I think that even in these Covid times, sometimes there are more queues outside certain places then there are outside local shops.

“We need to get to grips with what is effectively an industry in our community. That involves bigger questions around a health-led approach to health.” Mr McAuliffe said Ballymun had made great steps in recent years in terms of community development.

“There are people in this community and their hearts sink when they hear of this shooting and the negative perceptions it has in the area. It makes dealing with issues even harder.”

A local woman, who did not wish to be named, said it was generally a quiet neighbourhood.

Public representatives in Ballymun on Thursday night expressed sadness that the area had once again been tarnished with killing and organised criminals.

Deputy Lord Mayor Mary Callaghan, a councillor for the Ballymun Finglas area said people in the area “deserved better”.

She called for more Garda enforcement and additional Garda manpower on patrols to combat crime. She said Garda numbers in Ballymun had been cut in recent years and never fully restored.

“Unfortunately people are engaging in serious types of crimes and ordinary people should not have to put up with the fallout from that,” she said.

Fellow area councillor Keith Connolly said the deceased was well known in the area and would have had a history of interaction with the gardaí.

Mr Connolly said the killing was “very sad”, adding it had been several years since a person was killed in the area and residents of Ballymun had been working tirelessly to build a positive image through voluntary groups like the Tidy Towns, sports clubs and other community based initiatives.

He said it was “very unfair that a small minority of people engaged in organised crime” and killed someone in the middle of a pandemic.