Thursday 29 September 2016

Miracle boy (5) doesn't know how close he came to death in botched gangland hit

Cathal McMahon

Published 10/04/2016 | 10:36

Gardai at the shooting near Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas (INM)
Gardai at the shooting near Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas (INM)
Gardai at the shooting near Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas (INM)

The FAMILY of a 5-year-old boy said he avoided death by inches when a stray bullet struck his car seat.

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But incredibly the youth, who was going with his innocent family to get a McDonalds on Friday evening, was oblivious to the attack - his horrified mum revealed.

Speaking at her Finglas home to the Sunday World, the brave woman, said: “He’s okay, he’s okay… he was oblivious to the whole thing.

“We’re fine, but I just don’t want to say anything about what happened.”

Gardaí are hunting the two-man hit-team behind Friday night’s bungled attack. A gunman, wearing a balaclava, opened fire at the car park of KFC and McDonalds at 6.15pm.

Read More: Drive-by shooting follows cuts in overtime for gardai Gardaí appeal for information on two-man hit-team behind botched gangland shooting Stray bullet just misses child in car in botched gangland hit at shopping centre

However, he missed his target and the bullet ricocheted into the child’s car seat.

The child's grandfather told the Irish Sun that the bullet came in through the back door and through the seat.

Credit: Cathal McMahon
Credit: Cathal McMahon

"If the child was any lower or any higher he was gone - it missed him by less than inches."

Gardaí believe the target of this latest gangland hit was a well-known criminal with links to the Rattigan gang in South Dublin.

He is a close associate of John (24) and Noel Roche (27), who were both murdered as part of the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud. He was also a close friend of murdered gangland enforcer Gerard Eglington (27).

Feud

Gardaí fear the attack may spark the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which has claimed a total of 14 lives. It is believed the gunman arrived at the scene in a silver Volkswagen Golf, registration number 02 MH 7775.

The vehicle was found burnt out a short time later int the Shancastle Estate in Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

Five yellow markers indicated the spots where casings were discharged from the gunman’s weapon as he chased through the car park.

It’s understood Gardaí believe the target may have been lured to the car park for a ‘meet-up’, but fled on foot when he saw his balaclava-clad assailant.

Read More: Stray bullet just misses child in car in botched gangland hit at shopping centre

A staff member at one of the two fast food outlets outside which Friday’s shooting took place,said: “I was driving out of the car park when the shooting started.

“It was pandemonium. The car park was full of young families stopping for food after going to the cinema or coming from the fairground across the road. Parents and children were running everywhere.”

Local TD Noel Rock (FG) said: “A Friday night at a shopping centre shows there is a clear seeping of gangland crime into the everyday lives of families. “The fact that these shots narrowly missed a young child shows the real danger posed by these thugs.”

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information, particularly those who may have observed the silver Volkswagen Golf prior to its arrival at Charlestown or its discovery later at Shancastle Estate, Clondalkin,to contactthem at Finglas Garda Station 0n 01 6667500,the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.

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