Man in critical condition after being gunned down on street
A man who was jailed by the Special Criminal Court in connection with a shooting was gunned down on a Dublin suburban street yesterday afternoon.
The victim was named last night as Frank Nolan (48), from Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot, west Dublin.
He is in a critical condition in St James's Hospital after being shot three times in the chest with a handgun.
Last night gardai were trying to establish if the shooting was linked to a fresh or existing feud between dissident republican sympathisers and local drugs gangs.
Mr Nolan is known to be friendly with some of the sympathisers in west Dublin and could have been shot because of those associations, even though he was not directly involved in any feud.
The shooting was carried out as Mr Nolan walked out of a premises on to Oranmore Road in Ballyfermot at around 3.20pm. Eyewitnesses said a lone gunman emerged from behind parked cars and fired three shots at his target.
As Mr Nolan slumped to the ground the gunman ran away and then jumped on to a bicycle to make his escape.
Mr Nolan, whose family home is in Claddagh Road in Ballyfermot but who was living in nearby Cedarbrook Walk, fell into a local woman's garden a number of metres up the road.
"I just helped him until the ambulance came. I sat him on a chair and I tried to stop the bleeding," the woman, who did not wish to be named, said.
"I could see he was shot in the chest -- the lung area -- and it went out his back. I just put pressure on the area. Only one bullet wound was visible on the man's body," she added.
"He just kept saying 'I've been shot, I've been shot' and he was trying to contact family on his phone," she said.
John Burke, another witness, said bullet casings had been dropped outside his home by the attacker, who he understood was wearing a black hooded top.
"At around half three, I heard two gunshots, I thought they were bangers because it's close to Halloween," Mr Burke said. "I think he emptied his gun here. It's normally quiet enough around here," he added.
A search for the gunman was under way last night as gardai carried out door-to-door inquiries and examined footage from nearby CCTV cameras.
Mr Nolan was undergoing emergency surgery last night.
Investigators said they were examining a number of options as they tried to establish a motive for the shooting.
In the Special Criminal Court in June 2000, Mr Nolan was sentenced to three years' imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to recklessly engaging in conduct which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm at Grange Cross, Ballyfermot, on December 14, 1998.
He appeared in court with former IRA bank robber Anthony Beggs, who also pleaded guilty. The court heard that Mr Beggs had shot and wounded the husband of his ex-girlfriend after they met in a pub.