Sunday 25 September 2016

Partner of innocent Trevor O'Neill says their children are 'petrified' after he was shot in front of them

Children see innocent dad gunned down on holidays in case of mistaken identity

Ken Foy, Robin Schiller and Gerard Couzens

Published 18/08/2016 | 06:56

Trevor O'Neill, inset, emergency services at the scene of the shooting in Costa de la Calma. Photo: Solarpix
Trevor O'Neill, inset, emergency services at the scene of the shooting in Costa de la Calma. Photo: Solarpix
Emergency services at the scene of the shooting in Costa de la Calma. Photo: Solarpix

A completely innocent Dublin man was shot in front of his partner and young children in a shocking case of mistaken identity, and later died.

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Dad-of-three Trevor O’Neill (40), from Drimnagh, was on holiday in Majorca with family when he was brutally killed at around 9pm yesterday.

His partner was wheeling their child in a pushchair when he was gunned down in front of his family in the resort of Costa de la Calma, an eye-witness revealed today.

It is understood Mr O’Neill was shot five times, including at least twice in the back, by a three-man hit team wearing disguises who then fled from the scene.

Gardai believe the intended target of the savage murder is a very close associate of Gareth Hutch, who was shot dead in Dublin’s north inner city in May.

Mr O'Neill's partner is tonight trying to get their children home to Ireland as soon as possible.

Trevor O'Neill
Trevor O'Neill

Speaking to RTE News from the airport in Majorca, she described the events of last night as "horrific". She said armed police brought her and her three children to a safe house in Palma to spend the night.

She said that she didn't hear that Trevor had died until relatives contacted her from Ireland with the devastating news this morning.

The couple had been together for 20 years. The family was in Majorca since last Saturday. The holiday was a birthday present. She said she was distraught at the news, and that their three children - aged 5, 7 and 12 - are "petrified".

Target

The intended target, who is a relative of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, has been hiding out in the same apartment complex that Mr O’Neill and his family were staying in.

Gardai also believe the botched murder was carried out by the Kinahan cartel as part of their deadly feud with the Hutch mob, which has directly led to eight murders since it kicked off last September.

Sources say that Mr O’ Neill has “absolutely no involvement” in the feud and he has been described as a “very decent family man” who worked for Dublin City Council.

Management and staff of Dublin City Council said they were "shocked" to hear of Trevor's "tragic death".

"Trevor was a hard working and dedicated employee of Dublin City Council," read a statement from CEO Brendan Kenny.

"On behalf of the management team, city councillors and staff of Dublin City Council, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Trevor’s family and friends."

“This poor man had only been on holiday in Majorca a couple of days with his family when he was gunned down in front of his family as part of a feud that he had no involvement in,” a source said.

The intended target is also not considered a criminal but has become a prime target for the Kinahan cartel because he is a member of the Hutch family.

The 37-year-old target has been warned by gardai about an active threat against his life because of the feud. It is understood he fled to Majorca earlier this summer because of the threats against him.

Sources say Mr O’Neill may have been shot dead because he looks like the gangland target.

Drimnagh councillor Ray McHugh (SF) expressed his shock at the murder of Mr O’Neill, who he described as “an absolute gentleman” and a family man.

“I would have known Trevor’s family from the area, he was always a perfect and absolute gentleman and it’s very tragic that this has happened.

“My condolences go out to the family, he was a good man who worked with Dublin City Council in the drainage department for years. He was on holiday with his family in Majorca and had only recently arrived,” Mr McHugh told the Herald.

Today, a female eyewitness recalled how she held the victim’s hand as he lay dying while his children took refuge inside her premises.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “There was a large group of them, the man who was shot, his wife, four of their children, and other adults including a male friend and two other women.

“There must have been around eight to 10 of them in all. They were heading from a nearby hotel to a square where everyone congregates at night for an evening meal and a drink.

“I saw the gunman walk past the shop and heard the shots seconds later. He ran back down the road past the shop towards the beach and a well-known beach bar. He had tracksuit bottoms on and a blue tracksuit top with the number 23 in white on the back and the hood on his tracksuit drawn up tightly round his face.

Pandemonium

“You couldn’t really see anything of him because he was so covered up. It was pandemonium at first. People were screaming and running in all directions. The wife of the man that was shot had one of their children who must have been aged around seven in a pushchair that she was wheeling along when the victim was gunned down,” the woman said.

“He was walking slightly in front of them on his own.

“That child and another with her must have seen what had happened. Another two of the children were behind them and wouldn’t have seen it and the woman turned round and screamed at them as it happened and that gave them time to run for cover in a side street.

“I know that lady was married to the victim because when we ran out to tend to the injured man she kept on repeating the word ‘wife, wife.’

“We took her to one side and I got some water for her and held the man’s hand to try to encourage him to keep his eyes from closing while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.

“He had a bullet wound in his lower back and I couldn’t see any other wounds. Another neighbour was trying to stem the flow o f blood from the wound. The ambulance took about 25 minutes to arrive.

“The local police who were the first on the scene got there about three minutes earlier and started trying to revive him with heart massages. But it was all too late. When they took him away to hospital I knew he hadn’t made it.”

Speaking on the RTÉ News At One, Fianna Fail councillor for Dublin South Central, Daithi De Roiste said the community of Drimnagh are now in mourning.

He said: “I suppose the first thing is shock and heartbreak right across this community at the moment that a young innocent man with a young family can be just taken away in such a heinous way by absolute thugs.”

“(I was) speaking to people right across Drimnagh this morning and everything they said about him is true. Trevor was a good guy. He worked for the Dublin City Council and the community is now saying that this can happen to absolutely anybody at any time. It doesn't matter whether you're in Dublin or on your holidays.

“I seems to me like the Department of Justice just can’t get a handle on this. We need something more,” he added.

Cllr Mannix Flynn told RTÉ’s Liveline that he was “appalled” by the murder of his fellow Dublin City Council worker Trevor O’Neill.

“I’m just appalled and I wish to extend my deepest condolence to his family. It’s important to remember that what’s at the centre of this is murder. All of their lives have been taken unlawfully and in murderous intent, it’s particularly shocking.”

Cllr Flynn called on the Government to bring in legislation to deal with these individuals and to be able to “arrest those at the top of the chain”.

“It’s time now that we actually dealt with it. These are acts of terrorism, they terrorise communities and societies and they terrorise individuals. This is a direct threat against our democracy and society.

“In this day and age when you have a murderous campaign going on, it’s time for politicians to sit an emergency session and bring in legislation. What more is it going to take?”

He said that families have come to him looking to get out of their Dublin City Council homes because they don’t feel safe among the gangland feud.

“They feel threatened because they know one or two individuals who are associated with these individuals.

“Even me speaking on the radio today I would be conscious that I will be potentially targeted.

“I’d appeal to anyone out there today who is buying an illegal drug to remember what they are actually doing. They are going out there to buy a drug and they’re condoning murder and associating themselves with this gang.”

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