Tuesday 20 March 2018

Gardai launch manhunt after bloodbath in suburban park

Three young men shot in broad daylight by gunmen in balaclavas

Gardai at the scene of yesterday's shooting in Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin
Gardai at the scene of yesterday's shooting in Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Edel Kennedy and Tom Brady

THREE men were shot in broad daylight yesterday morning in a public park after making enemies "of the wrong people".

One of the victims -- David Morgan -- was shot in the head while the other two shooting victims fled on foot.

The Irish Independent has learned that Mr Morgan's niece was one of the first to the scene after hearing "a bang" outside her house.

Gary Gleeson and Christopher Gleeson ran several hundred metres to a friend's house, where an ambulance was called for them.

Gardai are now appealing for witnesses who may have seen the two men who met the three shooting victims in Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin at around 11.20am yesterday.

Gardai believe they were attacked because they made enemies "of the wrong people".

Last night, detectives were examining the recent movements of the three men to establish if they had clashed with a local gang in the west Dublin area.

The three victims -- who were all aged in their 20s -- were standing in the middle of the open space when they were approached by the two men, who were both dressed in dark clothing. The three had earlier bought a bottle of vodka and were drinking together when they were hit in a hail of gunfire.

The two men pulled balaclavas over their faces at the last minute and one man opened fire using a revolver.


Mr Morgan was shot in the head, a second man was shot in the body and leg while the third was also struck in the body.

The two attackers ran off in the direction of Edgewood Lawns after opening fire.

The three local men were taken by ambulance to Connolly and the Mater hospitals and Mr Morgan remains in a critical condition.

Gary and Christopher's conditions were last night described as serious.

Yesterday, Mr Morgan's niece, who is in her 20s, said she had been painting her bedroom when she heard a commotion.

"I hear a bang, but I didn't realise it was a gunshot," Leota Morgan said.

"Then the neighbours started shouting and I realised something had happened. I ran outside and I recognised David from his clothes. He was just lying there in the park.

"I saw a guard running in the direction of where the shooters went. And another man had jumped over the wall of one of the housing estates and was trying to help David as well."

She said the family were now maintaining a vigil at his bedside.

A friend of Angela Morgan, David's mother, said she was too upset to talk.

"She's really upset right now, she can't think straight," she said from the family home in Corduff Green.

At the home of Christopher Gleeson (25), his brother said he was "doing okay".

"He's doing okay, our dad is with him now," said Jonathan.

The park -- which is surrounded by numerous housing estates -- plays host to football matches every Sunday.

But locals said the games were cancelled this weekend as many clubs were taking part in the Johnny Giles Walk of Dreams, a fundraising drive organised to support local community programmes.

"We don't know if they (the shooters) realised that," said one local.

"I doubt they knew what the local football team were doing but thank God there were no kids there, who knows what would have happened if there had been scores of kids running around the place."

Locals said the three were well known in the area.

"Gary came knocking on our door last night (Saturday) about 11.30," said one woman who lives in the vicinity of the park.

"He seemed to have been knocking on all the doors.

"He asked if I was in but my daughter told him no and asked what he wanted. But he just left."

Gardai are now working to determine the men's movements over the previous 24 hours and the motive for the attack.

Last night, Justice Minister Alan Shatter condemned the shooting, saying he "shared the sense of revulsion of many people" at reports of the attack.

"I call on every person who can help the gardai in any way with even the smallest scrap of information to make contact with them via the local garda station in Blanchardstown or the free confidential telephone number 1800666111," he said.

Irish Independent

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