‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot’ – criminal’s plea to gunman outside crèche
‘Fat Deccy’ Smith fights for his life after being shot in the face while leaving child to care
A NOTORIOUS criminal was shot outside a Dublin creche this morning.
Declan ‘Fat Deccy’ Smith is fighting for his life after he was blasted in the face at 9am.
The 31-year-old gangster cried “don't shoot, don't shoot” before he was shot from close range by a lone gunman. Our pictures show the victim being treated by paramedics moments after the shocking attack.
“He was lying on the ground. When I turned him over his face was practically gone,” one witness told the Herald.
Smith had just dropped a child off at the Little Rainbow’s creche at Holywell Avenue in Donaghmede.
The masked gunman fled the bloody scene on foot.
Smith who is originally from Belfast is a notorious IRA criminal who was close pals with slain Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan who was shot dead in September, 2012.
After Ryan's murder, Smith was thrown out of the IRA and was the victim of a "punishment" shooting in Saggart, south Co Dublin, in January of last year.
Gardai believe that this morning's shocking shooting was carried out by a dangerous criminal gang who are based in the Priorswood area of the capital.
Smith and Alan Ryan previously kidnapped and savagely assaulted a senior member of this gang in an unsuccessful attempt to steal guns from the gangster just weeks before Ryan was shot dead.
Sources say that the gang vowed revenge for this incident and gardai are working on the theory that this was the motive for this morning's hit.
Another theory being explored is if Smith – who was living in the Coolock area in recent weeks – was targeted by the ‘Mr Big' drugs gang who were involved in a bizarre firearms incident with one of Smith's pals in Dolphin's Barn last Friday.
After this morning's horrific gun attack, paramedics advised a local woman and a local man how to administer first aid to the victim over the phone, before arriving at the scene.
“A woman ran up to me and said that someone has been shot.
“I've been in situations before where someone has collapsed with a heart attack so I went over to help.
“He was lying on the ground. When I turned him over his face was practically gone.
“He was gasping for breath, so that's why we turned him over, to get his face out of the pool of blood,” the man, who did not wish to be named said.
“She said the man ran up to him and he cried ‘don't shoot' twice, before a loud bang,” he added.
Another local woman said: “My grandkids are in that crèche. They're still there we haven't been able to get them out yet.
“I heard a loud boom but I didn't see what happened. I just thought it was the bin men throwing a bin on the ground.”
She added: “I went to the front room to look and saw the bins hadn't moved but I didn't think much of it.”
Paramedics rushed the victim by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital where he is in a serious condition.
Gardai from Coolock cordoned off the area for a technical examination.
A large pool of blood, beside the grey hooded track suit top Mr Smith was wearing, were clearly visible at the grisly scene.
The victim's top was removed by paramedics at the scene.
He had been driving an 04D registered Vauxhall, which was still at the scene today.
The Herald previously revealed that Alan Ryan was on his way to see ‘Fat Deccy' Smith when he was gunned down in Clongriffin, North Dublin in September, 2012.
Smith was present in the horrible aftermath of the targeted assassination and stood watching as paramedics desperately tried in vain to save Ryan's life.
He was prominent among the mourners at Ryan’s paramilitary style funeral.
Following Ryan's death, Smith attempted to take over the Real IRA's operations but ended up being kicked out of the organisation with weeks.
Some of Smith's associates are wanted for questioning by the PSNI about the murders of Edward Burns, 36, and Joe Jones, 38.
The pair, who were members of the Continuity IRA in Belfast, were killed within an hour of each other in March 2007 in a bitter dispute involving stolen cash and missing weapons.