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Thursday 19 October 2017

Shooting suspect hands himself in after visiting priest

Sarah Stack and Ed Carty

A suspect has handed himself in to gardai over a gun death after visiting a priest. Detectives are investigating if the victim, named locally as Eddie Flanagan in his 40s, was killed accidentally in north Dublin by friends who were holding a weapon for a criminal.

He was shot dead in his home at a gated apartment complex off the Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock last night.

Relatives cried as they left flowers at the scene on The Green, Larch Hill, shortly after his body was removed after midday.

A handgun was recovered in bushes near the property.

A Garda source said a man in his 50s went to visit a local priest before handing himself in for questioning.

He was arrested and detained under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 at Ballymun Garda Station where he can be held for up to seven days.

Mr Flanagan's body was discovered by local officers at about 10.30pm last night responding to reports of two shots being fired.

It is understood gardai had to break down the front door, which had been closed, and found the victim in the third floor apartment inside. Mr Flanagan died at the scene.

There were reports of a number of men running, or fleeing on bicycles, from the scene shortly after the gunfire was heard.

Resident Kelly Casey heard two shots but did not look out for fear a gunman would target her for seeing him.

She said she wasn't surprised by the killing in the area.

"It was eventually going to happen," she said.

"It's madness around here."

Ms Casey said as rent prices dropped a lot of drug addicts moved in to the gated complex, which has a security man on duty each night.

"Everyone knows the codes for the place, it may as well be an open gate," she added.

Dublin north central TD Aodhan O Riordain condemned the shooting.

"Once again a Northside community has woken up to the sight of Garda security tape, and to the knowledge that another man has lost his life violently overnight," he said.

"Larch Hill is a quiet residential estate at the Santry end of the Oscar Traynor Road and does not deserve, no more than any other community, to experience this sort of traumatic event."

Scenes of crime officers carried out a detailed search of the building and surrounding area during the day.

David Stone, who lives behind the block where the man was shot, said there had been a party in the building before Garda patrol cars and an ambulance sped in to the complex.

"A few things happen around here like cars being stolen," he said.

"I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner."

Four people have died in fatal shootings in Dublin since the start of May.

Earlier this month Liam Kenny, a 53-year-old father-of-four with links to the Continuity IRA, was shot dead at his home in Clondalkin, west Dublin after clashing with local drug dealers.

A few days before that Michael Taylor, 53, from Summerhill in Dublin's north inner city was shot at Hand's caravan park in Donabate in a killing linked to a long-running gangland feud.

In another gun attack, 20-year-old Dean Johnson was shot several times and died as he sat in the back of a car in Clondalkin on May 26.

And 19-year-old Paul McCarthy died after suffering a gunshot wound to the head at a house on Inchicore, west Dublin, also in May.

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