Monday 26 September 2016

'I watched him die' - partner of man shot dead on doorstep tells inquest

Louise Roseingrave

Published 28/07/2015 | 22:31

A FATHER of three shot dead in front of his partner died of gunshot wounds to the torso and thigh. Alan O’Neill (35), of Kiltalown Rd, Tallaght, Dublin 24 died on May 27 last.

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His partner, Michelle Usher was standing in the doorway of their home when Mr O’Neill was shot.

Members of the Garda Crime Scene Investigation Unit examine the scene of the shooting of Alan O’Neill at a house on the Kiltalown Road in Tallaght.
Members of the Garda Crime Scene Investigation Unit examine the scene of the shooting of Alan O’Neill at a house on the Kiltalown Road in Tallaght.

“I know how he died, I watched him,” she said at Dublin Coroner’s Court, where an inquest into his death was opened and adjourned.

She was responding to Coroner Dr Brian Farrell, who had asked if family members wished to leave the court as the details of the cause of death might be distressing for them to hear.

The cause of death was ascertained by Dr Marie Cassidy who carried out a post mortem examination at Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght on May 28th.

“The cause of death was gunshot wound to the trunk and right thigh. As the matter is being investigated by Gardai, I am not at liberty to give any further evidence,” the Coroner said.

Ms Usher, who comforted the couple’s children while contacting emergency services in the wake of the shooting, said the family would return to court on that date.

“They will be with us next time,” she said from the public gallery.

Mr O’Neill’s body was identified to Dr Cassidy and Gardai by his mother Doris and his brother Paul O’Neill at Tallaght hospital. Ms Usher said Alan's mother Doris was not in court because she was away on holidays.

“I’m going to adjourn the inquest to another date before the end of the year,” the Coroner said. “I want to say how sorry I am of Alan’s death. I am aware of some of the circumstances but I can’t say anything further during the course of the investigation.”

Reports following the shooting told how stray bullets later found at the front door and in the kitchen narrowly missed Ms Usher as she stood at the door waiting for Mr O’Neill to enter after he arrived home around 10.30pm.

Extending his condolences to Ms Usher and the deceased’s sister-in-law, Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest to resume on December 18th.

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