Local crime gang suspected of murder in sleepy village
GARDAI believe a Clonmel- based crime gang is behind the savage murder of Shane Rossiter, who was shot dead in a rural village.
The victim is a brother of Brian Rossiter, who was 14 years old when he died a decade ago -- three days after being found unconscious in a cell at Clonmel garda station.
A motive for the latest murder has not yet been fully determined. But gardai think Rossiter, a convicted criminal, had fallen foul of the Clonmel gang and may have owed them a debt.
Officers are now satisfied that he was the intended target of the savage attack in the Co Tipperary village of Golden.
Earlier, they were checking a theory that the gunmen could have been aiming to murder a Dublin man, who had received a death threat in recent weeks and had moved from his home in Crumlin to Golden in an attempt to escape the gangs in the capital.
The killers called shortly after 6.30am to the front door of the house where the two men were staying with another man and two women at Chapel Lane in the village. Three of those inside went to answer the knock and the gunman then fired two shots from what is believed to have been a shotgun.
Rossiter (30), who was originally from Clonmel, was hit in the chest and fell to the ground as the gunman jumped into a dark-coloured car and sped off.
The two other men fled from the house and ran across fields but returned soon after.
Last night, the victim's father, Pat Rossiter, said his family were bereft as they tried to cope with the loss of two boys in 10 years. He had fought a six-year battle to find out how his younger son, Brian, had died.
"We are just in total shock", Mr Rossiter told the Irish Independent. "I don't know what to say -- everything is just all over the place at the moment."
The victim is survived by his parents, Pat and Siobhan, one brother and four sisters.
An uncle, Michael Keating, said Shane's family were finding it very hard to come to terms with what had happened.
"To get that news this morning is just unbelievable," he said. "He'll be sadly missed by his family, his parents and brothers and sisters. Shane was a happy-go-lucky chap, very much at ease with his brothers and sisters and very family orientated."
The village of Golden, where the victim stayed when he was not in Clonmel, was last night coming to terms with the country's latest gun murder.
Liam O'Sullivan runs the Spar shop and lives adjacent to where the murder took place. He heard two gunshots.
"I was getting up when I heard a couple of shots about 6.30am. I got up and looked out through the blinds but I didn't see anything.
"About 6.45am, I saw a fella coming across from the field through my back window but I didn't think anything of it.
"He was acting quite normal. He was on foot and had a sort of a grey hoodie. He was going back to the house."
Last night garda inquiries extended to a number of Tipperary towns as officers tried to gather intelligence on the shooting. Random checkpoints were set up in the area to check if motorists had spotted men in a dark-coloured car acting suspiciously there in the past couple of days.
Neighbours were also interviewed and footage was taken from a CCTV camera located near the murder scene.
The Dubliner had moved to Golden from Dublin when he received the threat shortly after the murder of his friend, Declan O'Reilly, who was shot dead in front of his young son as they walked along the South Circular Road in the capital last month. Gardai believe that the gang responsible for that murder was also behind the threat to the Dublin man.