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Thursday 23 November 2017

Man cleared of murder in hospital after gun attack

Tom Brady Security Editor

A man acquitted of murder earlier this year was seriously ill last night after he was shot in a Dublin laneway.

The victim was named locally as Declan O'Reilly (30), of Parnell Road, Crumlin.

Five shots were fired at O'Reilly as he walked down a lane at Kenilworth Manor, linking Harolds Cross Road to a football pitch where schoolchildren were playing soccer at the time.

He was hit four times in the chest and arms and was taken by ambulance to St James's Hospital for emergency treatment.

One of the bullets was understood to have exited his body but another was causing serious concern as doctors performed surgery.

The shooting took place around 6.30pm in the deserted lane at the rear of Kenilworth Motors garage.

Gardai believe a lone gunman was involved and that he made his getaway on a bicycle.

Investigating gardai said later they were examining a number of possible motives for the incident and the area was sealed off for a technical examination.

Five bullet shells were taken from the scene for ballistic tests.

Gardai said one obvious line of inquiry was whether the shooting was linked to the murder acquittal but pointed out that it was too early to state if there was a definite connection.

Officers were also trying to establish whether O'Reilly had been lured to the laneway by a telephone call and last night were examining his mobile phone.

Last February, O'Reilly was acquitted of the murder of thug Derek Glennon in a ground-floor corridor of Mountjoy Prison in June 2007.

He broke down in tears at the Central Criminal Court when the jury returned an unanimous verdict of not guilty.

Struggle

During a three-day trial, the jury had viewed CCTV footage of a brief struggle between the two men before prison staff arrived on the scene.

O'Reilly, who was serving a jail sentence for road traffic offences, later told gardai that Glennon had been bullying him for months, forcing him to hide syringes, drugs and mobile phones, punching him and threatening that his brother would be shot.

He said he had been terrified every day to leave his cell.

Glennon had been serving a five-year sentence for manslaughter and was handed a consecutive five-year term after he escaped from custody and was recaptured.

He had forced O'Reilly to "mind" a knife for him in the prison and O'Reilly told the court he went to Glennon's cell to ask him to take back the knife when Glennon became angry and threatened to cut his throat.

Last night gardai asked anyone who was near the laneway between 6pm and 6.30pm or residents in the nearby apartment complex who might have spotted any suspicious activity, to contact the investigation headquarters at Terenure garda station on 01 6666400, or the confidential line, 1800 666111.

Irish Independent

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