Gunman dressed up as woman for drive-by killing
Published 30/11/2010 | 05:00
A YOUNG gunman and his co-accomplice who killed a man in a drive-by shooting attempted to disguise themselves with women's clothing and wigs during the attack.
Stephen O'Sullivan (20) -- an alleged recruit of the notorious McCarthy-Dundon gang -- was yesterday imprisoned for 15 years after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mark Moloney (40) in Limerick on April 5, 2008, and possession of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the Southill area of the city.
Moloney was gunned down by O'Sullivan as he walked through the Garryowen area of the city.
The Irish Independent has learned that the teenage gunman wore a blonde wig and a pink woman's tracksuit top when he opened fire on Moloney from a black Toyota Celica.
It is also understood that O'Sullivan's co-accomplice and getaway driver, James Cronin (20), was shot dead and buried in a shallow grave less than 48 hours after the Moloney murder.
Gardai suspect Cronin was murdered by members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang amid fears he was about to crack and talk to officers about Moloney's killing. No one has been charged in connection with Cronin's murder.
In the Central Criminal Court, O'Sullivan, of Galtee View, O'Malley Park, Southill, admitted to possession of a firearm less than 12 hours before the Moloney killing.
O'Sullivan had broken into the house of Paul and Sylvia Curtin in O'Malley Park that morning at 5.50 and held a 9mm gun to Paul's head and fired shots in his direction when he got away. The gun was never recovered.
Det Gda David Bourke agreed with the defence that O'Sullivan had the opportunity to shoot Curtin at close range, but did not.
Det Gda Brendan Casey testified that at 2.45pm that day, Moloney was gunned down in a drive-by shooting as he chatted on the footpath near his home. He was struck in the back and died at the scene minutes after he left his partner to visit his mother.
"We put all our trust in Justice Barry White and he said it ... when he said, 'Life is precious to families' and his life was very precious to us," Mr Moloney's sister, Angela Quilligan, said outside the court.
The sports car was later found burnt out and the 9mm gun used was never recovered. It was therefore never established if O'Sullivan used the same weapon in both shootings.
Mr Justice Barry White imposed the statutory minimum sentence of 10 years on the firearm charge, saying there were no exceptional circumstances that would cause him to do otherwise.
He said he had to take his plea and young age into consideration when deciding on the sentence for manslaughter and imposed eight years.
The judge said if both sentences were to run concurrently, he would effectively go unpunished for the unlawful killing. So he imposed consecutive sentences, but suspended the final three years of the sentence.