Wednesday 21 February 2018

Community in shock at 'callous, brutal murder'

SIX bunches of flowers had been neatly placed at the garda cordon tape that marked off the crime scene. The messages on the cards spoke nothing of crime but only of loss.

"You will never walk alone, love you, Da and Mam," read one. "Cully, Shine Bright, Pal," read another.

Within the garda crime investigation zone outside the Cabra House Pub was the grey Toyota Avensis with the British registration plates in which Paul Cullen (26) had arrived at his local pub after dropping his child off from swimming.

That afternoon, he had settled down to have a few drinks with his brother and their wheelchair-bound father to watch Tottenham take on Arsenal in the Premier League. It was supposed to have been a quiet night out.

But just an hour after the match ended, a man dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet burst into the bar where Cullen sat drinking and shot him six times in front of shocked patrons before fleeing with an accomplice on a motorbike.

The victim's father was said to have been treated for severe shock after the traumatic incident which gardai have described as a "callous and brutal murder".

At a media briefing outside Cabra garda station yesterday, Superintendent David Taylor of the Garda Press Office launched an appeal for witnesses, asking for people who may have been drinking at the Cabra House pub during the attack or in the period beforehand, to come forward.

People were fleeing the pub for their own safety by the time gardai arrived at the scene just minutes after the shooting, he said.

Directly across the road from the pub, the door of the Cullen family home stood open as people arrived to sympathise.

The row of shops on Fassaugh Avenue, known locally as "the strip" was a hive of activity as locals of all ages stood in huddles to discuss the events of the night before.

One elderly man spoke of his shock at what had happened.

"I'm 70 years living on this road and not a bother – but times have changed," he said.

Irish Independent

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