Friday 23 June 2017

Latest gang-hit victim killed in front of family after criminal life

Kevin Keane

THE girlfriend of a man shot dead in the latest gangland hit pleaded "don't leave me, don't leave me" as he lay dying in the street.

Daniel Gaynor (25), a well- known criminal, was killed by a lone gunman in an attack carried out in broad daylight in front of his partner and two children.

The gunman attacked Gaynor as he and his family walked along St Helena's Road in Finglas, just yards from his girlfriend's house at 6.50pm.

He fired off three shots at close range before running across a green area in the direction of Tolka Valley Road, where the murder weapon was later found.

The attack took place while children played on the street and people sat in their gardens, enjoying a balmy August evening.

According to witnesses, Gaynor's children, who are aged just six and seven-years old, looked on as their father died on the roadside.

Gaynor himself was also just seven years old when his own father, Robert McGrath, was shot dead. In that case, however, it was by gardai, who foiled an armed post-office raid by McGrath's criminal gang in Co Meath in 1992.

Gaynor himself had made threats to kill and had served time in jail for drug and gun offences. He was well known to gardai.

Yesterday, as the capital basked in glorious sunshine, residents on Barnmore Road and the neighbouring St Helena's Road drew their blinds and stayed indoors -- few people, it seemed, wanted to speak about the attack that marked the violent end to Daniel Gaynor's short life.

However, a local woman, who did not want to be named, said her mother and siblings were just yards away when the shots rang out on Saturday evening.

"They were only after going round the back when they heard three shots going off and they ran around and my ma saw the blood coming out of his mouth. His kids were there with his girlfriend and the kids froze -- they didn't cry or anything but the girlfriend was saying 'don't leave me, don't leave me'."

Jailed

The young woman said she knew Gaynor's family: "Our kids played football with his kids, they were the same age. That (the shooting) will be with them for life now."

Gaynor's death came swiftly but followed a life of crime. At the age of 19 he was jailed for six years for firing a gun through the window of a house because a teenager living there owed him €100. Gaynor carried out the attack because he wanted his money back in order to buy his girlfriend a Valentine's Day present.

Just a year later, Gaynor was handed a further two years in jail for intimidating the 62-year-old woman whose home was attacked in the shooting. In that trial, the court heard how Gaynor approached the woman while she was waiting at a bus stop and told her that her son's days were numbered.

He then made a gesture to her with his fingers in the shape of a gun and as he moved away shouted that her son was "f***ing dead".

The woman had to be placed in a witness-protection programme and the family was forced to move house, such was their fear of Gaynor.

Gardai say they have a good description of Gaynor's killer, who was between 5ft 9in and 6ft tall, of thin build and was wearing a dark grey top and a peaked cap.

They are appealing for witnesses to help them and over the weekend carried out extensive door-to-door inquiries in the area.

Irish Independent

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