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Sunday 23 July 2017

Suspect tells gardai fatal shooting was accidental

Family members at the scene yesterday
Family members at the scene yesterday
Forensic officers outside the apartment in Santry yesterday

Tom Brady and Fiona Ellis

A man being questioned last night about a fatal shooting in a Dublin apartment complex has told gardai that the victim was killed accidentally.

The suspect, who is 51, surrendered to gardai yesterday morning after discussing the incident with a priest.

The victim was named last night as Eddie Flanagan (49), who had an address at Primrose Grove in Coolock, on the northside of the city. He was shot in the head in a third floor apartment at The Green, Larch Hill, Santry, shortly before 11pm on Wednesday.

Neighbours raised the alarm when they heard what they believed were a couple of shots and some saw a number of men running from the gated complex, which is off the Oscar Traynor Road.

Gardai have recovered a handgun and it was being examined by ballistic experts at the Garda technical bureau in the Phoenix Park last night. The weapon had been thrown into bushes near the complex.

Gardai had to force their way into the apartment when they were contacted by locals and found Mr Flanagan, who had been shot in the head. He died at the scene. As gardai sealed off the area for a technical search, the suspect walked into Coolock garda station.

He was arrested and taken to Ballymun station where he was being held for questioning last night under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, which meant he could be held without charge for up to seven days.

Local residents expressed shock and fear at the killing which occurred on their doorsteps in the scenic area.

The apartment blocks and terraced houses are situated in a parkland setting, with manicured greens surrounding the area and leafy trees throughout.

Leonard Bowes lives in the block where the shooting took place. He said he was very upset about the incident. "It's dreadful. It's always quiet here, it's a quiet residential area and nothing like this has ever happened before."

Nadine Roberts was at home with her four-week-old daughter Zoe at the time of the shooting. She too said the area is "usually very quiet and there is never any bother".

She said she was worried now as "things like this can happen anywhere".

Anti-social

However other neighbours said that anti-social behaviour has been rife in the community over the last couple of months.

Gary, whose partner and 18-month-old son live nearby, said that the block the "worst in the neighbourhood".

He said that there are a lot of parties at weekends and he had seen drug dealing going on.

Just recently his partner got a letter in the door to be vigilant about stolen cars.

"There is a lot of fear around. People are frightened. She thought it was a nice area, but is now looking to move out."

Carol Smith owns an apartment in the block opposite the scene of the shooting. Most of the apartments in her block were long-term owned. However, she said many of the apartments were rented.

"You just don't know who you're living beside anymore."

Shortly after the body was removed yesterday morning, four family members arrived at the scene. The family were visibly upset and laid two bouquets of flowers at the entrance to the block.

This is the fourth fatal gun shooting in Dublin since the start of May.

Irish Independent

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