Gerry O'Carroll: More proof that gangster lowlifes don't care if they murder innocent children
In 2014, six-year-old Sean Scully was playing outside his home in Ballyfermot when a man opened fire on another man in the area.
One of the rounds hit Sean, who mercifully survived but was paralysed as a result of his injuries.
This outrage incensed every right-thinking person. We all hoped that such an incident would never again occur. But Dublin's gunmen don't care what you or I or any decent, law-abiding person thinks.
Last Friday night, in the car park of a McDonald's outlet in the Charlestown Shopping Centre in Finglas, a four-year-old had a narrow escape. He was sitting in his dad's car when a gunman opened fire at a gangster in a car nearby, spraying bullets around the car park. One of the bullets lodged in the child's seat, only inches from where the boy was sitting.
The intended target of the attack is involved in the murderous Crumlin-Drimagh feud. He escaped unharmed.
But the botched assassination attempt almost cost the life of an innocent child and this shows, once again, that the psychopaths involved in Dublin's criminal underworld are prepared to maim and kill anyone who gets in their way.
Given the ready availability of handguns, and the impunity with which criminals now use them, it is surely only a matter of time before another innocent is seriously injured or worse.
In fact, it was nothing short of miraculous that no innocent person was injured in February's shooting at the Regency Hotel, in which an AK-47 rifle was fired in a hotel lobby.
This attack took place at an event attended by boxing fans, including a number of children. One of the most shocking aspects of the video footage which later emerged was the screaming of these terrified youngsters. Not that this registers with the underworld lowlifes.
In March 2014, dissident republican Declan 'Fat Deccy' Smith was shot and fatally injured outside a creche in Donaghmede, seconds after he dropped off his son there.
The only way to prevent shootings like the one last Friday in Finglas is constant monitoring of the gangs involved.
It is worrying then to read of reports at the weekend that overtime budget limits have led to armed patrols on the gangs being scaled back recently.
This is outrageous. If the government needs evidence of why they must reinstate such patrols, I suggest they look to what happened at the Charlestown Shopping Centre last Friday.