A MURDER hunt is under way after a man who had been hit in the body with a shotgun blast died in hospital.
He is the third member of his family to have been shot this year and all of the incidents are being linked by gardai to a feud between two Traveller groups.
The latest victim, named last night as Owen Maughan, was shot yesterday afternoon at a service station in Moneen, outside Castlebar, Co Mayo, close to a campsite where the Maughan family live.
Mr Maughan (29) was filling up the water tank in his vehicle when the gunman struck at around 3.30pm.
He slumped to the ground as the attackers made their getaway in a dark-coloured estate car, which sped off in the direction of Claremorris.
He was rushed by ambulance to Mayo General Hospital but less than five hours after the shooting he died from his wounds.
Gardai immediately upgraded their investigation to a murder hunt and late last night were following a number of lines of inquiry. The Top Oil station was also the scene of another shooting incident in January when his brother, Jack Maughan, was shot twice with a pellet gun and suffered minor injuries.
Two months later another brother was shot at Castlegrove housing estate in Castlebar, but he also recovered from his wounds.
Officers said the feud between the two groups had been ongoing for a couple of years.
The area where yesterday's shooting took place was sealed off for a detailed technical examination by gardai. The office of the state pathologist was notified and a post-mortem examination of the body will be carried out today.
Gardai issued an appeal to anybody who spotted people acting suspiciously near the Moneen filling station or saw the dark-coloured estate car travelling at speed along the Castlebar to Claremorris road to contact them at the investigation headquarters in Castlebar station, telephone 094 9038200, or to phone the confidential line, 1800 666111.
Tom Brady Security Editor