Irish News

Thursday 24 July 2014

Face of gun attack victim

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

Published 03/04/2014|14:00

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Shooting victim Darren Whelan from Ballyfermot. Shooting took place on April 2, 2014.
Pic: Facebook
Shooting victim Darren Whelan from Ballyfermot. Shooting took place on April 2, 2014. Pic: Facebook

THIS is the man shot in the back in the city’s latest gun attack.

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Darren Whelan may have been targeted because of his friendship with a number of well-known dissident Republicans, gardai believe.

The 26-year-old is recovering after being shot at least once in the back with a handgun outside his home in Ballyfermot at 8.45pm last night.

Neighbours reported hearing the gunfire, and how “all hell broke loose” afterwards.

Senior sources say that one “main theory” is that Mr Whelan – who is not a criminal – was targeted because he is on “friendly terms” with a number of dissident Republicans.

He is believed to have attended the funeral of murdered RIRA boss Alan Ryan in September, 2012.

Darren Whelan 2.jpg 

Victim Darren Whelan

 

 

Gardai believe that Ireland's latest gun victim was targeted because because of his freindship with a number of well-known dissident Republicans.

Darren Whelan (26) is expected to make a good recovery after being shot at least once in the back with a handgun outside his home in Ballyfermot, west Dublin at 8.45 pm yesterday.

He remains at St James' Hospital today and was due to have surgery on his injuries this morning.

Senior sources say that one “main theory” in the investigation into the shooting is that Mr Whelan was targeted because he is on “very friendly terms” with a number of dissident Republicans.

Mr Whelan, who is not a criminal, has regularly been spotted in the company of former associates of murdered Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan including at fundraising events.

funeral

Sources say that he attended Ryan's funeral in September, 2012, and he was also observed at a commemoration for Ryan shortly after his murder.

In more recent times, he has been spotted with members of the Irish Republican Voice (IRV) group which disbanded in February less than a year after it was set up.

A senior source told the Herald that Mr Whelan may have become a target “just because of who his friends are.”

The group took part in several protests in Dublin over the last year, including one outside the Dail which led to scuffles with gardai.

The IRV said it decided to disband following an “unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with our members in the 32 Counties of Ireland.”

Meanwhile, the scene of last night’s shooting remained sealed off this morning as a forensic examination was carried out by the garda technical bureau.

Neighbours reported hearing the gunfire, and how “all hell broke loose” afterwards.

“I was sitting watching television with my husband when we heard the bangs, I counted five of them,” said one local resident on Lally Road.

“I looked out the back at first after the bangs and saw nothing, but my husband went out the front to see what was going on,” said another woman.

“I heard the shots and went out the front immediately and whoever fired them was gone, they were that quick,” said the woman's husband.

“All the neighbours were out trying to help him and calling the ambulance. It's a very quiet road so we are all shocked,” said another neighbour.

Locals said they did not know why Whelan was targeted in the attack.

“They are quiet people, he's a nice young lad,” said one man.

The garda technical bureau found two bullet holes in the door of the house. One in the doorframe and one to the left of that in the door itself.

Whelan is believed to have been hit at least once, and the narrow concentration of shots in the doorway indicates that the gunman had zoned in on his target and was not firing wildly.

Last night's shooting came five days after another of Alan Ryan's friends Fat Deccy Smith died in Beaumont Hospital after being shot in the face outside a Donaghmede crèche a week earlier.

The two shootings are not believed to be linked.

Irish Independent

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