Saturday 17 November 2018

Man who was shot six times at his home 'extremely lucky to be alive'

Gardai at the scene of the shooting in Drogheda which targeted Owen Maguire, who was once a close associate of jailed gangster Cornelius Price
Gardai at the scene of the shooting in Drogheda which targeted Owen Maguire, who was once a close associate of jailed gangster Cornelius Price
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Collins

Ken Foy

Armed gardaí are guarding the victim of a gangland shooting in Co Louth.

Owen Maguire was shot in the stomach and shoulder at least six times in an attack at his home in Drogheda yesterday.

A senior source said that the attack was being treated as attempted murder and that Maguire was "extremely lucky" to be alive.

Maguire also suffered injuries to both his legs and wrists in the botched hit and is being treated for his injuries at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

It emerged last night that one of the six bullets fired at him had lodged in his spine and sources said this might have "grave repercussions for his future health".

Maguire is well known to gardaí but his most serious conviction is a six-month suspended sentence for affray, committed near his home in Cement Road, Drogheda, in September 2015.

Cornelius Price was a close associate of Owen Maguire. Photo: Collins Courts
Cornelius Price was a close associate of Owen Maguire. Photo: Collins Courts

Maguire's associates were the main targets of a high-profile operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in five counties in April.

Searches took place in counties Dublin, Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan and one man was arrested for allegedly being in possession of stolen property.

During the course of the early-morning raids, a number of items were seized, as well as €27,800 in cash and £1,570 in sterling.

Among the items seized were two stolen caravans, one Mercedes Benz car, a Rolex watch and a selection of lawnmowers and strimmers. Illegal drugs were also seized, including cannabis herb and cocaine with a street value of €1,000.

Maguire's associates are the chief suspects for a savage knife attack on a 31-year-old convicted sex offender in Drogheda in March. Gardaí have made no arrests over the incident in which the victim was lured into a car and stabbed multiple times by a three-man gang in a 'bloodbath' punishment attack.

Maguire was previously a close associate of jailed gangster Cornelius Price who is serving time in Cork Prison, but it is understood the pair have fallen out in recent times.

Sources say Price is not considered a suspect in this attempted murder as he "has run out of cash".

Maguire and Price were previously charged but later cleared at Dublin Circuit Court of assault causing harm to Clifford Whitehouse and James Whitehouse at Bremore Castle, Balbriggan, in December 2013.

They were also charged with the production of a Stanley knife on the same day but were also not convicted of this offence.

Just nine months after the alleged attack on Clifford Whitehouse, his brother Benny was shot dead in Balbriggan - an unsolved crime that Price was arrested for, only to be later released without charge.

Whitehouse, of Ringcommons Halting Site, Balbriggan, died after the shooting in Clonard Street. His partner was shot in the leg during the attack.

Maguire is not a suspect in that murder case but gardaí believe people known to him have key information over one of the worst double killings in the history of the State, of Tallaght man Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of April 14, 2015.

Irish Independent

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