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Friday 24 May 2019

Bullet misses innocent woman 'by an inch' as man shot in attack linked to ongoing feud


Gun attack: Gardaí at the scene of the man’s shooting at Hardman’s Gardens, Drogheda, yesterday. Photo: Douglas O’Connor
Gun attack: Gardaí at the scene of the man’s shooting at Hardman’s Gardens, Drogheda, yesterday. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

An innocent woman came within inches of being shot dead in an attempted murder linked to the ongoing Drogheda feud.

A 36-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being shot twice outside a house in Hardman's Gardens at around 4.20pm.

It has also emerged that a senior criminal who was also at the scene, with links to mobster Owen Maguire, was warned in recent days by a 24-year-old rival gang boss that he would be dead within a week.

The threats were made during an altercation between the two men last week following a spate of assaults and petrol bomb attacks.

The home of an innocent elderly female relative of the head of the anti-Maguire faction was also targeted and a number of windows were smashed.

Children and bystanders were in the area at the time when the gun attack was carried out at the house.

An innocent woman was also walking past the property when the gunman jumped out of the rear seat of a car and indiscriminately began shooting at a number of men filling a skip.

Senior sources last night said a bullet missed this woman "by an inch" and that she was "very lucky" not to have been shot dead.

The man injured in the gun attack is an associate of gang boss Maguire (35) but is not believed to be involved in the ongoing feud.

A number of other senior gang associates were also in the area at the time when up to eight shots were fired at around 4.23pm.

The getaway vehicle, a red Volkswagen Golf with false 191 D 31786 registration plates, was found burnt out in the Sheephouse area on the Rathmullen Road nearby.

Superintendent Andrew Watters, of Drogheda garda station, said members of the public and children were nearby when the shots were fired in what he described as a callous and reckless shooting.

The gun attack is the third attempted murder linked to the ongoing Drogheda feud which has also seen countless petrol bomb attacks and assaults carried out.

Local Fine Gael councillor Richard Culhane, who is a retired garda, said that innocent lives will be lost in the feud if local gardaí aren't given more resources to tackle the feuding gangs.

"This feud will go on, by the very nature of these feuds, until they're put behind bars as what happened in Limerick. It is only a matter of time before an innocent victim gets caught up in this," Mr Culhane said.

Meanwhile, a house in the Moneymore estate in Drogheda was targeted in a firebomb attack late last night.

Gardai are investigating the incident in which a front window of the house was smashed and an attempt made to set the property on fire.

This morning the living room window could be seen to have been smashed, and the window blind was heavily scorched and melted.

A fire extinguisher was also visible on the ground below the broken window.

Gardai in Drogheda are investigating if the attack is connected with the ongoing violent feud in the area.

Irish Independent

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