Wednesday 7 December 2016

Bloodshed in the capital following two murders: 'Gun crime is out of control... people are looking over their shoulders'

* Man blasted to death in city pub
* 'Air of fear' in north inner city
* Separately, man shot dead in Clondalkin
* Sixth and seventh murder in just 11 weeks

Ken Foy, Cathal McMahon and Meadhbh McGrath

Published 26/04/2016 | 07:06

The Sunset House this morning, inset, Michael Barr
The Sunset House this morning, inset, Michael Barr
Michael Barr who was shot dead in the Sunset House attack
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Gardai at the scene of the shooting this morning
Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gun crime in the capital "is out of control", according to one Dublin councillor following two separate murders in the capital overnight.

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Gardai are investigating the murders of the two men in their thirties who were shot dead in two separate incidents.

In the north inner city, a lone hitman entered the Sunset House on Summerhill Parade at 9.15pm and shot 34-year-old Michael Barr three times, at least once in head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Punters were left shocked by the gruesome act of violence, with young mothers and a man with special needs among the witnesses.

Less than three hours later, a man died in a separate gun attack in the Kilcronan area of Clondalkin at around 11.45pm.

The victim was shot four times, including once in the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Clondalkin TD Gino Kenny (PBP) said people in Clondalkin woke up to the "awful news" of yet another gangland murder.

"It seems to be a catalogue and litany of shootings. People are using dreadful violence against other people.

Members of the Gardai beside the scene of a shooting at the Sunset House Pub in Ballybough, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai beside the scene of a shooting at the Sunset House Pub in Ballybough, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

"Gun crime appears to be out of control," he said.

"My condolences go out to his family but it is also upsetting for the community.

"It is pretty worrying the way gun crime is out of control in Dublin.

"This leaves a stain on the community and society that we live in."

Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien

Meanwhile, Councillor Nial Ring noted that the shootings last night mark the sixth and seventh murders in 11 weeks.

“This gangland thing has gone on too long, it has to be stopped,” he said.

Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien

He mentioned that his own mother lives just 200 yards from the Sunset House pub, where one of the victims, Michael Barr, had been working as a bartender when he was shot.

“Elderly people in particular are nervous, they’ve lived in the area all their lives, going to mass, going to the local chemist for their prescriptions.

Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien

“There are always people out and about, but I know this morning there will be a lot less, it will be much quieter and more subdued. People will literally be looking over their shoulders.”

Summerhill shooting

The evening's first victim, named locally as Michael ‘Mickey’ Barr, was a dissident republican who may have been supplying weapons to the Hutch mob, sources said last night.

Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the Fatal Shooting of a male in Summerhill. Photo Kyran O'Brien

It’s understood he was an associate of the shooter at the Regency Hotel in February, who has been nicknamed ‘Flat Cap’.

Barr, who was originally from Tyrone, had been living on Dublin’s northside and was a major target for the Special Detective Unit.

Sources said that Barr’s house was raided by gardai last week.

Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Detectives are now probing whether the shooting is linked to the bitter gangland war between the Hutch mob and the Kinahan cartel.

Barr was due to be sentenced on Thursday at the Special Criminal Court for handling stolen property.

Originally from Tyrone, Barr had reportedly began to work as a bar manager at the Sunset House pub in the last few months.

Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai on the Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gardai are investigating reports that Ross Hutch – a nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch – was also drinking in the bar last night, but sources said the shooting was not believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Last night, there were scenes of distress as crowds milled around outside the garda cordon.

Details

Gardai have reported the two men who entered the public house to be "skinny" and "wearing masks".

At a press briefing held at Mountjoy Garda Station today, they said: "A number of shots were discharged from the firearm fatally injuring the man.

"He was pronounced dead at the scene."

Gardai said a silver-coloured Audi with a registration 04 C 17738 was used in the shooting and is believed to have travelled from the scene along Ballybough Road, left onto Richmond Road and across onto Walsh Road.

The vehicle was recovered on Walsh Road in Drumcondra and was seized for examination.

It is understood three men left the car before it was recovered and made their way down Walsh Road in the direction of Home Farm Road, where they got into another silver-coloured saloon car.

Gardai say a full investigation has commenced and an incident room has been established at Mountjoy Garda Station.

'Crazy'

Local sources said that there had been a threat against the Summerhill victim’s life in recent months.

A 42-year-old woman who lives close to the murder scene told the Herald local people were terrified.

“People are scared for their lives. These killings are getting closer and things are getting worse and worse,” she said.

“People are very afraid in this area now. Something has to be done.”

A young woman from the area shook her head and said: “It’s crazy, just crazy, crazy.”

Local Independent Cllr Nial Ring, standing at the cordon around the crime scene, last night told the Herald that the shooting was “devastating”.

“There’s a lot of shock in the area. This comes on top of two other killings in recent weeks. Eddie Hutch Snr was shot, an innocent victim, at the other end of this road down in Ballybough and another innocent victim down around Sheriff Street.

“The whole area is in shock and people are wondering just what is going to happen next? And can they go out and have a drink and watch a football match?

“It’s devastating. I know my own mam is living nearby and at 81-years of age she is almost afraid to leave the house.

“There is just an air of fear around the whole area, and something has to be done about it.”

Shock

“Apparently, a guy came into the bar and there were three shots. There was a special needs chap in the place having a pint and he’s in a terrible state. The shock of it,” said Cllr Ring.

“And a lot of young mothers were there and there was a big match on the television and it was nearly over when this happened.

“It’s unacceptable what has happened in this area.”

“Obviously, we’re praying for Mick. He was a nice guy,” he added.

“He was from Tyrone and he lived locally. He was a barman in The Sunset House – he was just a nice guy doing his job.

“He had been attracting new customers and was doing up the place. Yesterday, we had a huge celebration around here for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. He would have been part of that.

“He lived locally and had a girlfriend living locally. We’re just devastated.”

Temporary CCTV installed just days ago may have captured the shooters’ escape, according to North Dublin TD Noel Rock (FG).

“The car, which was dumped at the foot of Walsh Road, yards from my home, is in an area which is covered by temporary CCTV erected in recent days by coincidence,” he said.

Feud

Mr Barr was the sixth victim of the Hutch/Kinahan feud – which appears to show no signs of stopping soon. The first person to die was Gary Hutch (34), who was shot at a Spanish apartment complex in September.

A revenge attack for Hutch’s murder then took place in February of this year, when a hit-squad stormed the Regency Hotel and David Byrne (33) was killed. Daniel Kinahan was the chief target of the shooting, but he managed to escape.

Two masked gunmen, armed with AK-47s entered the reception and opened fire while a shooter in drag and another man in a flat cap burst in through the rear of the building.

Three days later Eddie Hutch Snr (58) was shot dead at his Ballybough home.

Eddie is a father of Ross Hutch and a brother of Gerry Hutch.

In another fatal shooting believed to be ordered by the Kinahan Cartel, a former business associate of Gerry Hutch was killed at his Meath home.

Noel ‘Kingsize’ Duggan was shot dead as he sat in a car outside his home on March 24.

Innocent father Martin O’Rourke (24) was gunned down on Sheriff Street in Dublin city centre in a case of mistaken identity on April 14.

Clondalkin shooting

Dad-of-one Tom Farnan was gunned down after he answered his front door on Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin in west Dublin.

The 37-year-old had a number of convictions for minor offences but it is not believed that he was involved in organised crime.

His family have described him as a "gentle giant" and have insisted that he had no connection to gangland feuding.

Neighbours reported hearing up to five gunshots in quick succession at around 11.45pm.

This afternoon gardaí issued a fresh appeal for help catching his killers.

A spokesman said: "From initial investigations it appears that a lone male entered the hallway of the house at the above location and fired a number of shots fatally injuring a 37-year-old man. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The lone male then left the scene and is believed to have run along Kilcronan Close onto Grand Canal and then exited onto the green area towards Lock View Road."

The hitman was described as wearing all black clothing, black runners, black tracksuit and may have been wearing a balaclava. He is also described as being short in height.

A full investigation has commenced and an incident room has been established at Clondalkin Garda Station.

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