Friday 2 December 2016

Gangland victim was gunned down over 'row with the wrong man'

Paul Williams

Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30

Members of the Garda Crime Scene Investigation Unit examine the scene of yesterday’s shooting of Alan O’Neill at a house on the Kiltalown Road in Tallaght. The injured man later died in hospital and two others were arrested
Members of the Garda Crime Scene Investigation Unit examine the scene of yesterday’s shooting of Alan O’Neill at a house on the Kiltalown Road in Tallaght. The injured man later died in hospital and two others were arrested

A man gunned down in the hallway of his home is believed to have been murdered over a small drugs debt.

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Gardaí were last night questioning two men over the gangland killing of Alan O'Neill in Tallaght, west Dublin on Wednesday night. Another man is on the run.

Mr O'Neill was shot several times shortly after returning to his home at Kiltalown Road at around 10.30pm.

It is the second murder in the capital in less than a week, after the remains of Andrew Guerrine were found on Steelstown Lane, near Rathcoole.

The gunman in the latest hit escaped from the scene in a waiting Mazda people-carrier being driven by an accomplice.

However, a short time later two men - aged 18 and 28 - were arrested when gardaí found the getaway car ablaze at Belfry Square in nearby Citywest.

Officers approached the driver of a Nissan Almera at which point two men were seen running towards the Almera from the car which had just been set alight.

The driver of the Almera and one of the men were arrested when they tried to get away while the third managed to escape. He was still being sought by detectives last night.

Custody

It is understood the two men in custody are well-known to gardaí and have addresses in Tallaght and Clondalkin.

Mr O'Neill was hit at least three times when a gunman opened fire with a handgun. Bullet holes were also left in both the doorframe of the house and a kitchen press inside.

Sources said the murdered man was not known to gardaí as a criminal figure, but was in dispute with a local gang over a "small drug debt".

"The victim was not involved in any major criminal activity and while he was involved in a row it didn't appear serious enough to result in murder."

Dublin Fire Brigade and gardaí found the victim of the country's latest gangland attack lying seriously injured in the hallway of his home.

Mr O'Neill was conscious when he was rushed to Tallaght Hospital. There his condition worsened and he was later pronounced dead.

The two men remained in custody overnight and can be detained for up to three days.

The scene of the shooting and the burnt-out car were preserved for a technical examination.

Gardaí also searched for the murder weapon in the car and along the route taken by the vehicle following the attack in case it had been dumped.

Local people described Mr O'Neill as a very popular man who was a keen bodybuilder.

"He's been living here for years. He seemed to be a terribly, terribly nice fella, a gentleman," one neighbour said.

"Everyone liked him."

Another local woman said that the community was a very close-knit neighbourhood.

"It's awful. It's way too close to home for comfort," she said.

Locals said they heard up to four gunshots.

"The sound of the gunfire was unreal, they were four of the loudest bangs you ever heard in your life," the neighbour said.

Gardai in Tallaght are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have any information to contact them in Tallaght on 01 6666000.

Irish Independent

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