Attack on innocent boy linked to shooting
A SHOTGUN attack which left an innocent teenage boy seriously injured is being linked to another shooting last year.
Gardai are satisfied that 16-year-old Stephen Hynes, who was blasted in the back as he stood outside a house in Dublin's south city, was not the intended target and had no involvement in criminality.
Officers believe the gunman was aiming at Karl Fay, who was at his front door with the boy at Lismore Road in Drimnagh.
Fay, who is known to gardai, was previously shot in the stomach in a park near Milltown bridge in the south Dublin suburb in April last year.
He survived the attack after the bullet from a small calibre pistol exited his body.
The 21-year-old managed to stagger to the nearby Dropping Well pub on the banks of the River Dodder and customers contacted the emergency services.
The latest shooting incident happened as Fay was chatting with Stephen, and two other teenage boys, shortly after 9pm on Tuesday when a dark-coloured Toyota car pulled alongside.
The passenger fired two shotgun blasts and Stephen was hit by seven pellets in the back. He was rushed by ambulance to St James's Hospital, where his condition last night was described as stable.
Gardai say there may be a link between the shooting and the Milltown incident, which was believed to have been organised by a crime gang operating in Crumlin and Tallaght.
But officers are also examining a personal dispute between Fay and another Crumlin man after an exchange of words involving the man's partner.
Gardai are carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the getaway car, which was found abandoned in Drimnagh.
The car had been stolen in Clondalkin about a week ago.
A series of searches of houses in Crumlin and Tallaght in south Dublin and also in south Wexford was under way in a concerted effort by the gardai to find the shotgun used.
Two men were in custody and were being questioned by the gardai about the attack.
The first arrest was made yesterday afternoon in Courtown, Co Wexford, where a 27-year-old Dubliner was detained and taken to Crumlin station. The second man, in his late 20s, was later arrested in Tallaght and taken to Sundrive Road station.
Both suspects were being held last night under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and can be detained without charge for up to three days.
Gardai hope that Fay and the two teenagers will be able to provide vital eyewitness evidence about the attackers.
In 2009, Fay was one of two men, who walked free from court when a murder trial collapsed after a young boy said he was unable to identify the killers.
Fay had denied murdering David Rooney at Clonmacnoise Road in July 2008. It was alleged by the prosecution that Fay had hit the victim with a golf club while the other accused allegedly struck him with a snooker cue.
Deputy Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said yesterday that the Crumlin shooting was a horrendous act and was absolutely reprehensible.
She said gardai in Crumlin were following a number of definite lines of inquiry and appealed to anybody with information to contact their local station or ring the confidential line, 1800 666111.
Ms O'Sullivan also pointed out that the shooting had no connection to the ongoing feud in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the incident was yet another example of the callousness and barbarism of some of those engaged in criminality in Dublin.
His comments come in the wake of escalating violence which has sparked off a series of garda operations including last week's seizures of pipe bombs and fire arms in Coolock in Dublin's northside.
He said it was an appalling event that was totally unacceptable and displayed no regard for human life.
Meanwhile, locals reacted with shock to the shooting of Stephen, who was described as friendly and popular.
"He's a friend of my grandson and I know he wouldn't be involved in anything," local woman Mary Murphy said.
"You would see him out and around," she added.
Local man Martin Cousins said they were shocked but not surprised by the crime.
"It could happen to anyone, it's the way things are going," Mr Cousins said.
His 15-year-old son Martin Jnr described Stephen as "sound" and said that he was "just shocked" when he heard that he was shot.
"You would see him walking around the streets with his friends. He never started any trouble or anything like that," he said.