Convicted drug dealer Christy Keane was shot at least four times in the car park of the University of Limerick this morning.
The incident took place at approximately 6.50am on the university campus in the Castletroy area of Limerick.
Keane (54) was approached by two armed and masked men as he parked his car in the grounds before a visit to the gym.
He was shot a number of times as he fled on foot.
He was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick. His condition is understood to be critical.
It is understood the gunmen escaped in a car which was set on fire a short distance away in the Monaleen area of the city.
Gardai have begun an investigation and the scene is preserved for a technical and forensic examination.
Convicted drug dealer Christy Keane was sentenced to ten years in jail in 2000 for possession of €240,000 worth of cannabis.
He kept a low-profile and spent some time in Spain since his release in 2009.
Keane was previously associated with Limerick criminal Eddie Ryan before there was a split in the gang, sparking Limerick's notorious feud.
University of Limerick remained open following the attack but the campus is not as busy as other times of the year due to the summer break.
Gardai in Henry St. are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have any information to contact them on 061-212400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.