'I heard two shots then screeching tyres'
A SHOCKED resident yesterday gave a dramatic account of the minutes leading up to the shooting dead of a man in an upmarket area of north Co Dublin.
The peaceful idyll of the commuter suburb of Portmarnock was shattered at precisely 10.08pm on Sunday night when the man was shot and killed.
The incident took place near a security gate leading into the well-kept complex 'The Links' near Portmarnock village.
It was raised voices that first alerted one resident that something untoward was happening only yards from the door of his apartment just a couple of hundred yards from Portmarnock DART Station.
In such a quiet neighbourhood, the raised voices were enough to attract attention. The young man looked out the window and spotted a silver car parked in the driveway of the complex.
The resident described hearing a sound "like a car backfiring, a small pop".
"One guy was shouting something, it sounded like he shouted something at the guy in the car, I heard the word shot so I kind of got a big of a shock," he said.
"There was one shot and he shouted something involving the word shot, then there was a second shot."
He said there were more raised voices, before the car doors slammed and the tyres screeched as the silver-coloured saloon took off in the direction of Portmarnock village.
"It was 10.08pm, I sent a message at that time on the internet so I have a log of the time," he said.
A car driving along the road at the time pulled in, while a passing cyclist also stopped.
"I couldn't see until I went out and saw there was a body on the ground," he said.
He said the man was leaning against the wall and appeared to have struggled a short distance up the footpath from where the shooting took place.
"I heard he was shot in the head from when the doctor showed up," he said. "I didn't see it happen but I heard it."
Another resident in an adjacent development described hearing a number of sirens wailing at around 10.30pm as different emergency services raced to the scene.
"We heard three or four different sirens wailing which shattered the silence," he said.
Just a few miles away in Temple View Close, Coolock, the burnt-out wreck of a silver 98 Offaly-registered Volkswagen Passat was attracting attention.
One man, who lived around 15 yards from the shell of the car, said he heard an "explosion" at around midnight on Sunday. He had noticed the car parked near his home two or three days earlier.
A woman, who lives in the estate in Clarehall, said she drove in at around 10.30pm on Sunday night and the silver Passat was not in the place where it had been parked for the previous few days.
Then she looked out at around 10.45pm and spotted two men in a small white van slowing down and checking out the vehicles on the street.
She said a while later they heard an explosion and they spotted the car was engulfed in flames.
"There were five or six explosions, every neighbour rang the gardai," she said, describing havoc in the housing estate as neighbours screamed in panic.