Wednesday 7 December 2016

The Oregon gunman who was a 'supporter' of IRA and hero Dublin scouts who rescued two men - what happened while you were sleeping

Published 02/10/2015 | 07:14

Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded
Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded
People take part in candle light vigil following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. A gunman opened fire at a community college in southwest Oregon on Thursday, killing nine people and wounding seven others before police shot him to death, authorities said, in the latest mass killing to rock an American campus. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

The gunman who shot dead at least nine people dead in the latest shooting massacre in the US has been identified as Chris Harper Mercer (26).

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A number of media outlets in the US have reported that Mercer has shown apparent support for the IRA in the past, and had a morbid interest in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

Mercer died in the shoot-out with police.

There is no known motive as to why Mercer carried out the shooting. The incident occurred at Umpqua Community college in the small rural town of Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland, Oregon.

Police officers inspect bags as students and staff are evacuated from campus following a shooting incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Sullivan/The News-Review
Police officers inspect bags as students and staff are evacuated from campus following a shooting incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Sullivan/The News-Review
Reporters do their stand-ups as U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in the briefing room to speak about the shootings in Oregon from the White House in Washington October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

There is no known motive for the shooting, which has also left dozens of people seriously wounded.

However, US media outlets have highlighted Mercer's online presence.

Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded
Chris Harper Mercer who has been identified by US media as the gunman in Oregon shooting in which at least nine people died and dozens more were wounded

A Myspace page bearing Mercer's name features pictures of masked gunmen and references to the Irish Republican army. The account features an apparent front page of 'An Phoblacht', with the headlines 'British Army Could Not Defeat IRA'. Another image bears the caption 'IRA undefeated army'.

Mercer also appeared to be prolific user of file-sharing system Bittorrent.

People take part in candle light vigil following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
People take part in candle light vigil following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Umpqua Community College interim president Rita Cavin speaks to the media after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

According to The Guardian, an email address 'ironcross45@gmail.com' was found to be associated with Mercer via a public records search, and is linked to an account that bears the username 'Lithium_Love'.

The final video uploaded by this user to the site, just three days ago, was a BBC documentary called 'Surviving Sandy Hook' about the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

After news of the shooting emerged, President Barack Obama angrily said America had made a "political choice" to allow mass shootings like the one in Oregon to occur and blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA)lobby group for blocking reform of US gun laws.

Appearing in the White House briefing room with a grim expression and a frustrated tone, Obama challenged US voters of all political stripes to hold their leaders accountable if they wanted to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

"This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America," Obama told reporters after the latest shooting at a community college in an Oregon town in which nine people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.

"We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," he said.

Read more here: Oregon gunman named as Chris Harper Mercer who has an apparent 'support' for the IRA as well as interest in Sandy Hook massacre

Back at home, a Dublin scout troop have been hailed as heroes after rescuing two kayakers after their boat crashed in dangerous waters in Co Kildare.

The rescue was captured on video.

The heart-stopping video shows a tandem kayak smash into a bridge during the annual Liffey descent in Co Kildare last Saturday (September 26).

The boat split in two sending its paddlers into the rushing waters.

But thankfully a volunteer rescue team, made up of Dublin scouts, abseiled from Leixlip bridge seconds later preventing a potential fatality.

The entire incident was caught on camera and the volunteers, some of whom are teenagers, have been praised for their brave actions.

Venture Scout leader with 160th Ardlea and 1st Dublin Ronan Fields can be seen in the clip abseiling to the river.

The volunteer quickly released British kayakers Sam Weller and Steven Bush who were caught between the bridge and their shattered boat.

Read more here: Dramatic moment scouts rescue two paddlers after boat crashes in dangerous flood waters  

In business news, PayPal Ireland are asking its staff for spare rooms.

PayPal Ireland’s Louise Phelan warned that foreign direct investment may be under threat due to a lack of rental properties
PayPal Ireland’s Louise Phelan warned that foreign direct investment may be under threat due to a lack of rental properties

The company's Ireland boss Louise Phelan has revealed that the massive multi-national is asking its staff to offer rooms to new employees, who cannot find rental accommodation here.

PayPal, which employs some 2,400 people in Dublin and Dundalk, is now requesting that staff make spare rooms available because of the dire shortage of homes and apartments to rent.

Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation annual conference, Ms Phelan warned the situation was now "at crisis point" and was at the stage where Ireland would lose foreign direct investment and the crucial jobs that come with it.

Ms Phelan's comments came as property agents Savills warned that the rapid increase in Dublin's population was putting huge strain on the capital's housing and infrastructure.

Read more here: PayPal asking its staff for spare rooms in rental crisis

Today's papers all feature the Oregon shooting.

Michael McDonagh (23) of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17, the only defendant with no previous convictions, sentenced to 12 years, with seven suspended
Michael McDonagh (23) of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17, the only defendant with no previous convictions, sentenced to 12 years, with seven suspended
Donal O'Hara (22) of Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 12 years, with seven suspended. He had 19 previous convictions
Thomas Flynn (21) of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 12 years, with three suspended. He had 20 previous convictions
Patrick Joyce (23) of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9, was given 14 years, with four suspended. He had 16 previous convictions, none for violent offences
Patrick Gately (28) of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 20 years, with four suspended. He had 85 previous convictions
John Joyce (21) of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, Dublin, was sentenced to 15 years, with four of those suspended. He had 55 previous convictions
Dean Byrne (22) of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, was given a sentence of 20 years, with four suspended. He had 120 previous convictions

The 'Irish Independent' features the faces of the seven-member gang who were collectively sentenced to 105 years in jail for terrorising Mark and Emma Corcoran, and their three young daughters, at their home in Co Tipperary.

The seven men, all in their twenties and from Dublin, were sentenced at Clonmel Circuit Court yesterday. A number of them smirked and blew kisses while leaving the court building after Tuesday's hearing of the case and yesterday after they were sentenced. 'Final Insult' is the Herald's main headline on their front page today.

Read more here: Judge warns criminals of 'heavy price to pay' 

WATCH: Ring of steel around gang as they’re sentenced for roles in burglary that left young family crying for their lives

Today's 'Irish Daily Star' carries an interview with the friend of the late Cathriona White, who died from an apparent suicide at her home in Los Angeles. Cathriona (28), from Cappawhite in Co Tipperary, was the former girlfriend of the Hollywood actor Jim Carrey.

Jenny Burpee was one of two friends who discovered Cathriona's body at her home on Monday evening.

Jenny said she called around to her friend's home after not hearing from her for three days.

Cathriona White
Cathriona White
Cathriona White
Cathriona White

A surge in tax receipts has strengthened the Government's hand ahead of October's budget, the Irish Times is reporting today.

Exchequer figures show tax payments in September beat targets by more than €300 million.

Read more here: Tax recovering but debt remains high, says Central Bank  

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