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Gun victim's family tell of ordeal


Tommy Joyce and his sister, Anne.

Tommy Joyce and his sister, Anne.

Tommy Joyce and his sister, Anne.

GUNMEN who killed a drug trafficker outside his home opened fire on his mother and sister as they made their escape, the inquest into his death heard yesterday.

Tommy Joyce (20) was gunned down by two men who entered his family's halting site at Grove Lane in Coolock, Dublin, on the evening of June 17, 2009.

His attackers shot Joyce five times. Gardai carried out an extensive investigation but there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution

Dublin City Coroner's Court was told Joyce was talking to another man when a gunman wearing a balaclava approached from behind and unleashed a volley of bullets.

His sister Anne Joyce said when she heard the initial shots she ran out on to the site and started screaming at her brother to "run".

She saw one of the gunmen and he had a "spring in his step", she said. She picked up two children and turned to escape when he fired a shot at her and missed. At least 10 shots were fired during the incident.

Joyce's mother Lily described how she chased after one of the gunmen as he "calmly" walked away from the scene towards the getaway car on the Malahide Road. He turned and fired a shot at her.

"I didn't care if he shot me. Tommy was my baby. They showed no remorse, none of them. . . I was shouting, 'do it, do it' at him," she said.

A passer-by saw two men jump into the getaway car and give each other "high fives" before making off. The car was later found burned out about a mile away from the scene.

State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy carried out the post-mortem and found that Joyce had been shot five times, twice in the back of the head, once in the mid-back and twice in the buttocks.

He lost consciousness immediately and was unresponsive at the scene. He was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital 90 minutes later.

The deceased had been named in the High Court as a member of a drug trafficking gang known as the Joyce Brothers, based in north Dublin.

The Criminal Assets Bureau seized two vehicles from him worth over €100,000, believed to have been purchased using the proceeds of drug trafficking.

Six months after Joyce's murder, his brother John Paul Joyce was also shot dead.

The jury returned a verdict of death by unlawful killing.

Irish Independent