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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Drive-by shooting of boy (16) condemned by Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Lyndsey Telford and David Young

THE drive-by shooting of a 16-year-old boy depicts the callousness and barbarism of Dublin's criminal fraternity, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said.

Gardai are pursuing several important lines of inquiry, Mr Shatter said, after the teenager was shot in the back and arm as he stood outside a house in the Crumlin area of Dublin last night.

Local councillors said the community is horrified by the indiscriminate attack on the youth who was not known to gardai.

"This is yet another example of the callousness and barbarism of some of those engaged in criminality in Dublin. Hopefully this young man will recover from this event," Mr Shatter said.

"We are going to continue to target those who engage in this type of behaviour which is completely and totally unacceptable."

Detectives are trying to establish a motive for the gun attack which happened at around 9pm in Lismore Road, or if the youth was an innocent bystander.

He was rushed to St James's Hospital where he is in a serious but stable condition. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Deputy Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said the shooting is a terrible atrocity and reprehensible but stressed there is nothing to suggest that it is an escalation in the bloody Crumlin/Drimnagh feud which has claimed 15 lives in a decade.

"The feuding in the area is constantly monitored and there is nothing to suggest that this is part of an escalation in any of the activities that are ongoing," she said at an annual cross-border crime seminar in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

The boy was with two people when a black saloon car pulled up and two shots were fired.

It is not yet known if a man in the teenager's company was the intended target but Fine Gael councillor Ruairi McGinley said it is clear that the gunman meant murder.

"I know the Lismore Road well and they would have been shooting at very close quarters. There's no doubt, they were shooting to kill," he said.

Labour's Michael O'Sullivan warned that there is a danger of people becoming numb to such shootings, after three other men were shot dead in similar gangland-style gun attacks in recent weeks.

"We've got to the stage where it's nearly become something that people don't react to," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"It's just been reported today that a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan has been shot by the Taliban, and we have worldwide condemnation. We should be acting to the same degree of horror."

Recent trouble in Crumlin has given the area a bad name, the councillor said.

In a separate incident in the area yesterday afternoon, four men were arrested and a gun, telescopic sight and gun component parts were seized.

"There's like a parallel universe in the area. You have people going about their ordinary lives, unaware of trouble brewing under the surface," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"But then these gangland-type incidents flare up from time to time."

The youth is the second youngster to be shot in Dublin this year.

Melanie McCarthy-McNamara, 16, from Tallaght, was shot dead, in the head, in a drive-by shooting as she sat in the back seat of a car in February. Two men have been charged with the murder, which rocked the Traveller community.

Elsewhere there have been 13 gang-related killings this year.

John Wilson, 35, became the latest on September 28 when he was gunned down at his home in Ballyfermot, west Dublin. The shooting was initially suspected of being linked to a feud with the Real IRA.

Earlier that week Declan O'Reilly was shot in front of his 12-year-old son in South Circular Road, Dublin and Gerard Eglington, originally from the Crumlin area, was murdered in his home in Portarlington, Co Laois. The 27-year-old was the latest victim of the bloody Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.

Irish Independent

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