Gardai hunt three men after killing as gang storms house
Published 01/11/2010 | 05:00
GARDAI were last night hunting for three men after a young man was shot dead and another was injured following a vicious row at a house over the weekend.
The shootings occurred after a gang of four smashed their way into the house in Ardee, Co Louth, where they were confronted by the occupant and his son.
A 20-year-old man, Stephen Hanaphy (who is also known as Stephen 'Stomper' Lyndon), of Cromcastle Court, Coolock, Dublin, was shot in the chest and collapsed and died after staggering from the scene.
A second man in his 20s, who was suffering from a gunshot injury to his arm, later presented himself at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
Another suspected member of the gang was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary at the house and later released without charge. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Last night, gardai were still looking for a fourth man believed to be among the group who attacked the house, as well as two settled Travellers who fled from the house after the attack.
Mr Hanaphy was believed to be among a group of four men who left Coolock and drove to the house at Sliabh Breagh in Ardee, where they arrived shortly before 11pm on Friday.
The gang smashed windows and a door as they forced their way into the house where they were confronted by the occupants, a father and son.
A handgun was produced and Mr Hanaphy was shot in the chest and staggered from the house. His body was discovered shortly after 4am on Saturday under a tree in an open area about 300 metres from the house.
The three other members of the gang who carried out the initial attack abandoned their car at the scene and fled. One of them hailed a taxi to make his escape.
One of the group later turned up at Beaumont Hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm but his injuries are not life-threatening.
The two occupants of the house also fled following the attack and their Mercedes car was later found near another house in the area.
Gardai investigating the attack and fatal shooting have appealed to anyone who was in the area at around 9pm on Friday to come forward with information.
They also want to talk to the taxi driver who carried a male passenger from Ardee and travelled toward Dublin shortly after 11pm on Friday.
A garda spokesman said they were investigating two crimes: aggravated burglary and the fatal shooting.
The victim, Mr Hanaphy, who was a body building enthusiast, had no convictions for serious crime and may have been brought along to the house to provide "a bit of muscle", according to sources.