GARDAI are following several lines of inquiry as they investigate a murder attempt on a man who was shot three times.
The victim was shot as he reversed out of the driveway of a house he was visiting in the Paddocks estate in Termonfeckin, Co Louth.
Gardai said four to five shots were fired at the victim from an automatic pistol, but he managed to flee from his car and scramble back into the house.
The incident took place at around 9.35pm on Thursday and gardai were last night working on the theory that he had been followed to the house by the hitman. It was the second major crime in the normally peaceful village of Termonfeckin within a week.
Gardai from the national drugs unit and the Drogheda drugs unit seized a cannabis haul, worth €1.3m on the streets, during a search of a yard in the village yesterday week. The victim (42) was shot in the arm, leg and chest as he sat behind the wheel of his car.
Gardai confirmed the man had been able to get out of his car and run for help.
Despite his injuries he ran from his attacker and escaped back into the house. Bloodstains could be seen yesterday on the front door of the house. Gardai say the gunman sped from the scene in a dark blue Volkswagen Passat car, with a late 1990s' registration plate.
The victim was rushed in an ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in a serious condition. One bullet passed through one arm and struck the other, resulting in significant blood loss.
However, his condition had improved last night and he was said last night to be "out of danger" in the hospital. A senior garda officer said last night: "We are treating this as attempted murder and investigating all of the circumstances surrounding the shooting."
Gardai had made house-to-house inquiries in the estate, and last night appealed to anyone who saw a car being driven in a suspicious manner to contact them at Drogheda garda station, or on the confidential phone line, 1800 666111.
The family living in the house in the Paddocks estate are entirely innocent and have no links with criminality. The victim is not from the area and is living in Drogheda.