Hunt for hitman as Bunratty shooting victim loses fight for life
A HITMAN was hired to murder Robert Sheehan at his brother's wedding by a criminal he viciously assaulted during the summer.
Sheehan (21) died yesterday after he was gunned down while celebrating the wedding in Bunratty, Co Clare on Sunday.
Investigating gardai were last night attempting to track down the gunman responsible for Sheehan's murder and the criminal who ordered the attack.
Officers believe Sheehan was shot repeatedly after he stabbed a well-known Limerick criminal who started seeing a woman who had previously been in a relationship with Sheehan.
The murder victim -- who was the father of one son -- was shot five times in the head at Bunratty Castle Hotel at 3.40am on Sunday.
He was put on a life support machine at the Mid-Western regional hospital in Limerick but died yesterday at 4pm.
The Irish Independent has learned that Sheehan, who was from Moyross in Limerick city, had previously been warned that his life was under threat.
On July 17 last in broad daylight in Delmege Park, Moyross, Sheehan fought with and stabbed another criminal in the northside estate with a large crowd looking on.
The violence broke out after Sheehan took exception to the man seeing a former girlfriend of his and the criminal ended up with a severe wound on his neck.
He was later treated at hospital for his injuries but no complaint was made to gardai.
Prior to the fight, Sheehan trashed his rival's apartment on the Ennis road area of Limerick.
The wounded criminal served jail time for his role in a shooting incident in Limerick's underworld feud and was released from prison in 2010.
He has not been seen since Sheehan's murder and has fled Limerick.
Gardai in Limerick and Clare are attempting to establish if he has fled the State and are also attempting to trace the gunman responsible for the murder.
The man who officers believe carried out the brutal attack is not from Limerick.
Gardai were last night continuing to question two men in connection with the Clare murder who were spotted by an off-duty officer on the northside of Cork city on Sunday morning.
One of the arrested men is a close relation to the criminal who has fled Limerick.
The other man being questioned is a notorious criminal who has also been involved in the city's bloody feud and has been at the centre of several garda investigations.
A handgun used in the murder was recovered in Bunratty shortly after the shooting.
In another development, the Irish Independent has learned that there was a break-in at Sheehan's home on Saturday during the wedding in Clare.
Last night, gardai continued their appeal for witnesses to anyone who was in the Bunratty area last Saturday night/Sunday morning and saw anything suspicious. Shannon garda station can be contacted on 061-365900.
Sheehan -- who had more than 50 criminal convictions -- was one of three teenagers who was jailed for the notorious arson attack on Gavin (4) and Millie (6) Murray in Limerick in September 2006.