independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Gunman shoots cousin of former Ireland international Steve Finnan

Steve Finnan in his playing days for Liverpool and (inset) his cousin Sean Finnan

A cousin of ex-Republic of Ireland and Liverpool soccer star Steve Finnan has miraculously escaped with his life after been shot outside his house in Limerick last night.

Sean Finnan, 26, received around 25 pellet wounds to his chest in the gun attack on Byrne Avenue, Prospect, on the south of the city at around 9.30pm.

According to gardai, the gunman approached Mr Finnan who was standing outside his house and fired at him from a shotgun.

The gunman, who was wearing a hoody, fled on foot with an accomplice whose face was also hidden by a hood.

Mr Finnan was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where he was treated for his wounds. He has since been discharged from the hospital.

"He was extremely lucky. He was hit by the spray of the shot because he was shot at from the pavement outside his house. If it was at a closer range he would have been in a serious condition," said a hospital source.

Gardai believe he was shot because of growing tensions between locally based criminals.

The area is located close to the former stronghold of the notorious Dundon McCarthy criminal gang.

A Garda source said the shooting was "not gangland related" but happened as a result of "tensions between certain parties living in the area".

According to gardaí, Mr Finnan is a cousin of the retired Liverpool star Steve Finnan.

Steve Finnan retired from international duty in 2008 with 52 caps and scoring two goals.

The highly rated defender was born in Janesboro, Limerick, before moving to Chelmsford, England, at a young age. He began his playing career in Wimbledon's youth system before making it big in the Premier League with Liverpool where he won a Champions League medal in 2005.

Last July, his cousin Sean was jailed for two months after the garda drug squad caught him with deals of heroin on a Limerick city street.

He was stopped and searched on Cecil Street on August 9 last year. Drugs Squad members discovered six bags of diamorphine - commonly known as heroin and valued at €150.

Sean Finnan pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for sale or supply.

Limerick District Court heard he had 45 previous convictions, mainly associated with drugs offences.

Shortly after last night's shooting Gardai arrested a 28-year-old man.

The suspect, aged in his mid 20s, is being held at Roxboro Road Garda station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Gardai are carrying out follow up searches for the gun used in the attack.

David Raleigh

Irish Independent

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