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Tuesday 21 January 2020

'All I could think about was my kids', says innocent taxi driver shot twice while driving cab

LMFM Presenter Michael Reade (L) and innocent taxi driver John Myles (R)
LMFM Presenter Michael Reade (L) and innocent taxi driver John Myles (R)

Allison Bray

A taxi driver who narrowly escaped death and life-changing injuries after he was shot while driving his cab in Drogheda said his biggest fear was that his children would be left without a father.

Father-of-two John Myles, from Drogheda said all he could think of after he survived a bullet wound to the back was to be able to contact his 16-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son.

“A garda said ‘you know you’ve been shot?” he told Independent.ie.

“But all I wanted was for them to know I was okay.”

“I didn’t want to think about anything else. It was the kids I was thinking about,” he said.

“I had no choice. I had to keep going. My family is keeping me going,” he said of the ordeal.

Mr Myles, who has been a taxi driver in the town for the past decade, said he will never forget the terror he felt when a car cut him off as he was driving over the Bridge of Peace in the town on Monday night and a masked gunman got out and appeared at the window and pointed a pistol at his head.

The gunman’s intended target was a young man sitting in the front passenger seat whom he had picked up as a fare along with his friend who was sitting in the back seat of the taxi.

Mr Myles, who lives in nearby Duleek, Co Meath, said he had no idea that his fare was a 24-year-old criminal and leading member of a gang that has been embroiled in a gangland feud in Drogheda over the past two years. He was on his way to the local garda station to sign on as part of his bail conditions for a number of offences.

“Before I knew it, there was a lad pointing a gun,” Mr Myles told LM FM earlier this morning.

The gunman took aim and fired just as the target climbed over Mr Myles and ran out the driver’s door.

Miraculously, the bullet hit the top of Mr Myles’ shoulder and exited at the back of his rib cage, just inches away from his spinal cord, he said.

“I heard the bang,” he said.

“If it went a bit further, I would have been paralysed for the rest of my life.

“I’m here to tell the tale, thank God."

The horror attack took place just metres away from a garda station.

“I was looking out across at the garda station,” he said.

Fortunately, gardai arrived on the scene within seconds and Mr Myles was taken to the nearby Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in the town where he was treated for his injury after he made contact with his children.

After being discharged from the hospital early this morning, Mr Myles went straight to the LM FM studio for the live interview.

Not only did he want to ‘set the record straight’ concerning vicious, untrue rumours circulating on social media that he was involved in the feud, he also took to the airwaves to urge those involved in the feud to “just stop it.”

“I’m here to clear my name,” he said of the radio interview.

“I’ve done nothing wrong. I was just out doing a day’s work,” he added.

He also said the people of Drogheda and surrounding area are fed up with the gangland feud that has left local people living in fear.

Last August, Keith Branigan, (29), who is a member of a crime gang feuding with associates of Owen Maguire (35), was fatally shot outside a caravan park in Clogherhead.

Maguire was shot and seriously injured in July 2018 while his brother Brendan Maguire survived an attempt on his life in April, 2019 that took place in broad daylight in the car park of the busy M1 Retail Park shopping centre in Drogheda.

“Give it a rest and stop,” Mr Myles said.

“We didn’t ask for this. We don’t want it. Just stop it, enough is enough. People can’t take it anymore,” he said.

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