Tuesday 22 January 2019

Man (24) shot in Dublin hid from gunmen in takeaway kitchen

The scene of a shooting at Sheriff Street Dublin tonight.
Pic: Justin Farrelly.
The scene of a shooting at Sheriff Street Dublin tonight. Pic: Justin Farrelly.

Ken Foy

A street drug dealer nicknamed ‘Strawballs’ was recovering in hospital last night after he was shot in the buttocks in the capital’s north inner city.

The bizarre shooting happened late on Monday night when the target ran into a takeaway and hid in the kitchen area after sustaining injuries when a gunman targeted him at Lower Sheriff Street at 10.35pm.

Despite ‘Strawballs’ (24) having strong links to the Hutch mob, gardai do not believe the shooting is linked to their deadly feud with the rival Kinahan cartel.

Instead, officers are working on the theory that the gun attack is linked to a brutal row that the victim was involved in in the locality over “drugs and money” just hours before the non-fatal shooting occurred.

The Herald can reveal that ‘Strawballs’ was in the company of a large number of other people outside a premises in Sheriff Street when two disguised men approached him and one shot him in the buttocks outside the takeaway.

Despite being shot, ‘Strawballs’ and a number of other people ran into the takeaway where he was followed by the gunman and his associate.

However, when they could not find their target, the duo fled on foot as he hid in a kitchen area of the premises.

Emergency services were then notified and ‘Strawballs’ was brought from the scene by ambulance to the Mater Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, gardai have since received information that the culprits fled to the Spencer Dock area via Guild Street.

No arrests have been made in the case, being investigated by Store Street Garda Station, which yesterday appealed for information in the case.

The intended target was previously arrested by gardai investigating alleged street dealing in the north inner city as part of Operation Tempest in August 2014.

Sources described the man as a “low level” criminal who has links to jailed thugs Nathan Coakley Hutch and his older cousin Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch.

His most serious brush with the law happened when he was given a three-year suspended custodial sentence in 2011. He was caught with a Smith & Wesson 9mm Luger semi-automatic pistol and 20 rounds of ammunition in a car when he was aged only 15.

Sources said last night that the bust was linked to ‘Del Boy’ – one of the capital’s most notorious and volatile criminals.

Evidence was given in the court case that gardai set up surveillance on a city centre pub and arrested the then 15-year-old boy with the gun and bullets. He later said in interview that he had been asked to deliver the gun by a third party to another person.

The then teenager, who had no previous convictions at the time, did not name any of the third parties involved in the offence and gave no explanation as to why he committed the crime.

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