Wednesday 7 December 2016

'I just want him back' - heartbroken pregnant fiancee of dad murdered in mistaken identity shooting

Laura Larkin and Ryan Nugent

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Angelina Power with partner Martin O'Rourke and one of their three children
Angelina Power with partner Martin O'Rourke and one of their three children

The fiancée of innocent victim Martin O'Rourke, who was slain by a hitman in a botched gangland attack, has spoken of the heartache her family have endured.

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THE heartbroken fiancee of innocent gangland victim Martin O’Rourke has said she just wants him back.

Angelina Power, who is expecting their fourth child, told the Herald last night from her family home that Martin was her “rock” and they were planning to get married.

Read More: Target of botched gang feud hit now lying low in the UK

She also slammed the “scumbag” killer who gunned him down on Sheriff Street. 

“All I want is to have him back,” she said. “Martin wasn’t involved in any feuding. He was a family man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Martin (24) was shot dead in Dublin’s north inner city on Thursday afternoon in a case of mistaken identity in the latest tit-for-tat violence in the escalating Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Read More: Gangland gunmen 'highly trained in weapons' and outnumber ERU

He had been living with his partner in sheltered accommodation in the George’s Hill Hostel on Halston Street at the time of his death.

Both of his parents are dead, and he had a difficult upbringing. He overcame a problem with drugs and had been clean for a year before his death.

Weapon

“My three kids and my unborn baby have been left without a father,” said Ms Power. “My four-year-old keeps asking where her dad is.”

She said she wants justice for her partner of more than seven years and is keen for everyone to know he had no connections to organised crime or gangs.

Read More: ‘He was a harmless lovable young fellow’ - Father Peter McVerry remembers victim of latest gangland murder

Gardai have obtained what they believe is the weapon used in the attack, which was dumped in a bin, and have “excellent quality” CCTV. They are hopeful that arrests will soon be made.

The couple were due to view an apartment and were looking forward to a new start.

“We had three beautiful children and plans to get married and now because of scumbags he’s gone,” said Ms Power.

Her mother, Angela, said the family have been left heart-

broken by the murder.

“We were his family. He was a son to me,” she said.

“He was someone who was trying to get his life on track, he was only a child.”

She described the shooting as  “cold-blooded murder”.

Read More: Detectives examine 'excellent' CCTV from murder scene and recover gunman's bicycle

“It’s heartbreaking, his oldest asked God this morning, ‘Why did you take my daddy?’

“The next time it could be a child or an old person, they don’t care who they’re shooting.

“The big men of the feud need to sit down and talk it out because it’s young people who are getting caught in the middle.”

Mr O’Rourke’s remains have not been released to his family, but they are preparing for his funeral and want to give him a “good send-off”.

He was described as a good dad and a “rock” to Ms Power.

Her mother joked that they used to call the couple Ken and Barbie and said he was always laughing and joking.

An appeal has been launched on behalf of the Powers to help cover the funeral expenses.

North inner city councillor  Christy Burke said the appeal aims to raise thousands of euro. Any money left over will be put in a trust fund for Mr O’Rourke’s children.

Silence

“I’m blown away by the support from the community and from people all around Ireland,” said Mr Burke.

As well as financial donations, professional singers have offered to perform at the funeral, a piper has offered to play and a monumental mason has offered a donate a headstone.

“I had a young student from a local school on to me to say that she is going to request a minute’s silence on the morning of the funeral,” said Mr Burke.

The Power family have expressed their thanks for the support from people in the north inner city.

“We’re very, very grateful. We don’t know how to thank these people,” said Ms Power.

“They’re a community that sticks together and they have given us great support.”

Anyone who wants to donate should contact Bourke’s funeral directors in Smithfield or get in touch with Mr Burke directly.

Gardai believe the intended target of the shooting was Keith Murtagh, who has close links to the Hutch mob. It is understood he was in the area at the time but fled when shots were fired.

The shooting happened close to schools and a creche.

Terrified parents in the area have asked that gardai patrol the area during drop-off and collection times to avoid further innocent victims getting caught in the crossfire of any future attacks.

The suggestion is due to be tabled by Mr Burke at a joint policing committee meeting this morning with officers from Store Street Garda Station.

Irish Independent

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