Pub customer tried to fend off gunmen in 'hit' attempt
THE owner of a pub where a man was shot told yesterday how a customer attempted to fend off the gunmen as they shot their victim.
The victim was shot in the face and the chest by two men who burst into McDonough's pub in Bettystown, Co Meath, on Saturday night and sprayed the room with bullets, in a gangland-style shooting.
The 41-year-old survived the attack and is now recovering under armed garda protection at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
The victim, from the Dublin area, is known to gardai and the shooting is believed to be linked to an ongoing gang feud in the capital.
He is originally from Ballymun but lives in a house in the Bettystown area. Miraculously, no other people were injured, despite the fact that the small room was full with more than 30 people at the time the attack took place at 9.40pm.
Witnesses say as many as eight shots were discharged in the direction of the man, who was hit as he attempted to flee into the gents' toilet.
Pub owner Donal McDonough said he knew the man "vaguely" and that he came in occasionally but always kept his face to the door of the premises as if he was expecting to be attacked.
"He was sitting beside some of the lads but I think he was on his own," Mr McDonagh said yesterday as a garda forensic team continued to examine his small public house on the outskirts of the Bettystown.
The pub owner also said one of his customers bravely intervened in the attack by throwing a bar stool at the assailants, who entered and exited through the front door of the bar before fleeing the scene.
Two forensic teams yesterday examined the pub and the surrounding area.
The premises has a number of CCTV cameras covering its interior and gardai removed footage that is believed to have captured the attack.
The assailants are described as being between 5'7" and 5'10" in height, one of heavy build and one of thin build. Both men were wearing hoodies and had scarves over their faces.
Mr McDonough said that when he heard the shots, he rushed from his garden behind the pub into the building, to find the man on the ground.
The victim, he said, did not appear to be "too badly injured".
"He was wounded here and here," the publican said, pointing to his chest and left shoulder, and adding that the man had blood under his chin from a wound on his face.
He said he ordered drinks for his customers after the shooting: "I told the bartender to set up drinks for the bar again to get them over their shock."