Thursday 21 September 2017

Gardai investigating shooting of young woman in Cork arrest third person

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

GARDAÍ investigating the shooting of a young woman in Cork have arrested a third person.

A man in his 60s was detained this afternoon and can be questioned for an initial period of 24 hours.

A 29 year old man and a 21 year old woman were both detained last Sunday just one hour after the shooting of Ciara Sheehan (21) in Knocknaheeny.

The young woman was released yesterday without charge but the 29 year old man remains in custody at Gurranabraher Garda Station.

His detention period was extended last night by a further 24 hours.

The young man was arrested under the Offences Against the State Act.

The development came as it emerged Ms Sheehan might have been left paralysed if a gunshot wound to her neck had been just 1cm to the side.

Gardaí have recovered a firearm which they suspect was used in the attack which left Ms Sheehan (21) with neck and throat injuries last Sunday.

She is now in a serious but stable condition in Cork University Hospital (CUH) as Gardaí admitted she was not the intended target of a terrifying early morning gun attack on a family home in Knocknaheeny, Cork.

The hand gun recovered yesterday by gardaí will now undergo a detailed forensic and ballistic examination to determine if it was the weapon used in the attack.

Gardai are also investigating whether attacks on two other houses on Cork's northside may be linked to the incident.

Ms Sheehan was sitting watching TV with a friend in a house in the Hollywood Estate when a firearm was discharged through the sitting room window.

The attack occurred at 12.30am on Sunday and came moments after a rock had been thrown through a glass front door.

It was the latest in a series of terrifying attacks on the family living in the property.

Ms Sheehan suffered a blast injury to her throat and neck.

Doctors at CUH performed emergency surgery and she is now expected to make a full recovery.

However, local sources said it was a miracle the innocent woman escaped life-threatening injury.

“If it had been just a small bit to the side, she could have been killed or left paralysed,” explained one friend from Ardcullen.

“Less than half an inch and we would have been talking about a tragedy.”

The woman, who asked to be unnamed for personal security reasons, said it was an appalling incident.

“That poor family have been suffering terrible intimidation,” she said.

“It is unbelievable what they have gone through over the years.

Something has to be done because everyone here is afraid over what is going to happen next.”

The young man arrested on Sunday is well known to gardaí.

Sources indicated that he has been the focus of multiple investigations ranging from serious assaults, intimidation and general criminality.

The man is known to harbour a deep personal grudge against a family in the Hollywood area.

It arose from a minor disagreement several years ago but has escalated to terrifying levels.

Over the past 10 years, the man has been the focus of investigations ranging from an attack on a man with a sword to intimidation of an individual who had a pipe bomb left outside his home.

Another investigation involved an incident where a man was attacked with a Stanley knife.

Several investigations were ultimately frustrated by individuals refusing to make complaints to gardaí or offer evidence out of personal safety fears.

The attack on the Hollywood Estate property came less than 12 months after windows were smashed in the house.

Locals described the family targeted by the grudge attacks as “decent, hard-working people and great neighbours”.

Gardaí must decide by Thursday whether to charge or release the man.

Uniformed officers continued door-to-door inquiries in the area yesterday and issued a fresh appeal for anyone who saw anything suspicious on the Hollyhill area between 12.30am and 1.15am on Sunday to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station in strict confidence on (021)

4946200.

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