Three plead guilty after Limerick shooting of young girl


A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl was injured when part of a shotgun blast fired by a “violent Limerick criminal” pierced her foot, a court has been told.

The little girl was out playing at 3pm in a Limerick housing estate when two shots were fired from a semi-automatic shotgun at a grey Audi with two members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang inside.

The wing mirror of the Audi was blown off, while part of the shot hit a passing Corolla car, the Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday. Part of the shot also grazed the ankle of a six-year-old girl who was playing in the front garden of a house at the time.

Christopher Curtin (39), Salvia Court, Southill, Limerick, pleaded guilty to possession of a 12-gauge Lamber semi-automatic shotgun and 11 rounds of ammunition at Yeats Avenue, Kincorra Park, Limerick, on May 31st last year.

His younger brother Paul Curtin (28), Rearcross, Co Tipperary pleaded guilty to the same charges, while his uncle Eric Curtin (45) of Hillview Drive, Kilteely, Co Limerick, admitted possession of the shotgun for an unlawful purpose on the same date.

At their sentencing hearing yesterday, Garda Pádraig O’Dwyer described Christopher Curtin as a “violent individual who operates an organised criminal gang in Limerick city”.

Following his arrest, Curtin told gardaí he grabbed a shotgun and forced his uncle Eric Curtin to drive him to Yeats Avenue because his father’s house was being “broken up”.

The court heard that on arrival, he fired two shots from the shotgun at the driver’s side of a grey Audi leaving the estate, blowing off the wing mirror. Part of the shot struck a car being driven by an “innocent passerby” and also pierced the left foot of a six-year-old girl playing nearby.

The child was taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital where she was treated for a puncture wound, which was described as superficial, but she and her family were traumatised by the incident, the court heard.

Curtin told gardaí he was sorry the little girl was injured and that it was only ever his intention to frighten the occupants of the Audi.

Garda O’Dwyer said the shooting was linked to an ongoing feud between the McCarthy-Dundon and Curtin gangs which has led to a number of violent incidents.

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing to February 10th.