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Friday 20 April 2018

Five children escape with their lives following shootings

The children – one of whom is a toddler – were in their homes which were targeted by gunmen in two separate attacks in Dublin

Bullet holes in the doors of two Dublin homes following separate gun attacks in the capital
Bullet holes in the doors of two Dublin homes following separate gun attacks in the capital
The scene of the shooting in Finglas
The home in East Wall, Dublin that was attacked

FIVE children – including a toddler - have escaped with their lives following two shooting incidents in Dublin.

Gardai have launched an investigation into both incidents, which occurred in Finglas and East Wall. The shootings are not believed to be connected.

A one-year-old child was in one of the targeted homes this morning when a gunman opened fire at the front door.

The toddler was at home along with its grandmother.

Nobody was injured in the incident, which happened at a house on St Mary’s Road, East Wall at about 11:30am this morning.

The gunman fired two shots into the front door of the house before speeding away from the scene in a car.

The child and its grandmother were in the house at the time, with the child’s mother and grandfather believed to be at work.

Two shotgun casings were later found on the road by gardai.

A neighbour reported hearing two loud gunshots before seeing a car drive away in the direction of the East Road.

He called the Gardai straight away, who arrived and cordoned off the scene within minutes.

“I’ve never heard bangs like that in my life, I knew it wasn’t ordinary. I was relieved no one had been hurt,” he said.

Other neighbours added that the occupants of the house were a “respectable family” that had lived there all their lives.

The road was reopened and gardai left the scene at about 1:30pm.

Meanwhile, in Finglas, a couple and four children were inside their home at 10.15pm last night when a gunman approached and opened fire on the house in Glenties Drive.

Using a shotgun, the gunman blasted the front door of the home before fleeing on a high-powered motorbike.

The male occupant of the house told the Herald earlier today that one of the children could have been killed in the terrifying incident.

"If those shots were fired minutes earlier, one or more of the children would have been killed.

" I have no idea for the life of me why they chose our house.

“We are up the wall with all this. Thank God those kids were upstairs when he (the gunman) came up to the door. We are very shaken and trying to get through this," he added.

It's believed that two men pulled up outside the property at 10:15 last night.

One of the men walked to within a couple of feet of the door and discharged three rounds of shotgun cartridges.

Three girls, aged 14, 13 and 10, had gone up to bed just minutes earlier. The couple were downstairs watching a film when the gunman came up to the front door and opened fire.

There were three large bullet holes visible this morning - two in the door and one in the side panel. One of the bullets hit the banisters of the stairs.

The gunman then fled the scene on the motorcycle which was driven through a pedestrian walkway onto the busy Cardiffsbridge Road.

Nobody was injured but the family living at the address have been shaken.

One of the occupants of the house, who requested not to be named, said the family believe they were targeted in a case of "mistaken identity".

"If those shots were fired minutes earlier, one or more of the children would have been killed, " the occupant told the Herald.

Gardai are linking the incident to a high powered motorcycle which was reported in the area of Glenties Drive last night. It was later discovered a short distance away.

Blue shotgun cartridges were found at the location by investigators this morning.

Sources say investigations are at an "early stage" and that the occupants of the house are cooperating fully with investigating officers.

Gardai carried out a forensic analysis of the house and left the scene shortly before 10am today.

By Valerie Loftus & Niall O’Connor

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