Sunday 24 September 2017

Gardai close in on gangland shooting suspect

Paul Cullen
Paul Cullen
Gardai make an appeal to the public outside the Cabra House pub in Dublin about the murder of Paul Cullen who was shot on March 3

Sarah Stock

DETECTIVES are closing in on a prime suspect for a reckless gangland-style gun attack in a busy pub, it emerged today.

Paul Cullen was shot dead in front of his wheelchair-bound father in the Cabra House pub on Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, north Dublin, shortly after 7pm on Sunday March 3.

A cash reward is being offered to anyone with information which significantly helps the investigation.

Detective Inspector Colm Murphy said the smallest amount of information could close the case.

"It was a cold, callous calculated murder that happened in a public house with patrons, family members and friends of the deceased in the pub," he said.

"His father is wheelchair bound and I suppose it is in circumstances like that where there are family members who are greatly effected by something as tragic and severe as this.

"The individuals involved were reckless.

"One can't imagine what the family has gone through, this happened in front of their very eyes," he added.

Senior sources said detectives have established a motive for the gun attack on the father-of-one and are focused on a prime suspect from the locality.

"We know who he is, we just need to get him in," he said.

The victim was known to gardai and was previously connected with a gang run by murdered gangland boss Eamon Dunne, known as The Don, who was shot dead in the nearby Fassaugh House Pub in April 2010.

Detectives have trawled through CCTV from in and around the bar to piece together the movements of the gunman and motorbike used as the getaway vehicle.

Gardai are still trying to trace the whereabouts of a high-powered bike, which was driven erratically to and from the bar via Broombridge towards Finglas.

The pillion passenger, a masked man, fired several shots shots at the 27-year-old victim while a second masked man waited outside on a dark motorbike.

No arrests have been made to date and no handgun recovered.

His father, Paul McCann, was next to him in the packed pub directly across the road from the family home where Mr McCann and his wife Patricia still live.

More than 20 customers who were in the pub on the evening have been questioned by gardai.

DI Murphy added: "The people of Cabra have been of tremendous help with the investigation and have been a great assistance in piecing together the different details prior to and after the shooting."

In February 2008 Cullen was sentenced to six years for storing almost 56,000 euro of cannabis resin in his home to clear drug debts as he was in fear of his life after receiving a bullet in the post.

While awaiting sentence, Cullen and a relative were arrested for assaulting a female garda, whom he kicked in the stomach. He was later jailed for three years, with the final 18 months suspended, to run consecutive to the six-year sentence.

A cash reward is being offered to anyone who calls Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25 with information which significantly helps the investigation.

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