Sunday 21 December 2014

Man shot dead as he cycled to his job cleaning windows was assault witness

Tom Brady, Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

Published 16/04/2014 | 02:30

John O'Regan, who was shot dead on his bike.
John O'Regan, inset, who was shot dead a he cycled to work. Main: Garda forensic officers at the crime scene.
Garda forensic officers at the crime scene in Ballymun, where John O'Regan was shot dead. Photo: Colin Keegan
Gardai attend the scene of this morning's fatal shooting in Ballymun
Gardai attend the scene of this morning's fatal shooting in Ballymun
The scene of this morning's fatal shooting in Ballymun

A WINDOW cleaner who was gunned down on a busy suburban street by a man on a bicycle may have been targeted because he was a witness to another serious crime.

Gardai say John O'Regan (48) had witnessed an assault on the northside of Dublin in the past year.

They are now investigating whether this incident was linked to yesterday morning's shooting at Gateway Avenue in Ballymun.

The Irish Independent can also reveal that Mr O'Regan's younger brother was also shot dead in a gangland hit almost 11 years ago.

Mr O'Regan, who was originally from Finglas but lived at Barnwell Gardens in Ballymun, was the father of an adult son.

He was "particularly close" to his brother William, who was four years younger than him and was shot dead at his flat in Cabra in June 2003.

The slain brothers' mother Helen O' Regan died in October, 2006 after an illness. Another brother, Paul, still lives in the Finglas area.

Investigating officers last night said they did not yet have a definite motive for the shooting but were hopeful of making progress in the coming days.

Detectives said they had to sift through a huge amount of footage from CCTV cameras and were also making active inquiries in the Ballymun area.

They believe the gunman knew Mr O'Regan's routine and was lying in wait for him to cycle by.

He regularly cycled along the avenue on his way to his window-cleaning round.

The gunman, who was also on a bicycle, ambushed Mr O'Regan at around 8.45am and fired five shots from a handgun into his stomach and upper body.

The attacker, who was wearing a baseball cap and a high-vis jacket, cycled off towards the city centre along Ballymun Road and travelled some distance on the footpath.

Mr O'Regan slumped to the ground in a pool of blood.

MURDER

A garda motorcyclist, a patrol car and the traffic corps were quickly on the scene.

A garda attempted to give medical aid to the victim as they summoned an ambulance, which then rushed him to the Mater Hospital.

Mr O'Regan was pronounced dead at 9.25am.

His body was later taken to Tallaght Hospital for a post mortem by the assistant state pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis.

The gun used in the murder has not yet been recovered.

Gardai said the victim was well known in the community but had not come up on their "radar" and he was not linked to any criminal activities.

They had said they had received a very good response from the public and were hoping to build on the information received.

Gardai appealed to anyone who might have been going to work or travelling in the Gateway Avenue area between 8.30 am and 9am and noticed a man in a high-vis jacket and baseball cap to contact them at the investigation headquarters in Ballymun or to phone the confidential line, 1800 666111.

A case conference is due to be held there this morning.

Irish Independent

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