Man shot by off-duty garda 'who thought he was raider'
An off-duty garda who shot a man in Portobello, Dublin, believed that the 24-year-old - who has a number of criminal convictions - was a suspect for an armed robbery at a hotel.
The Finglas criminal, whose father was shot dead in a gangland hit by mob boss Eamon 'the Don' Dunne's gang, was still being treated for gunshot injuries to his shoulder last night.
It is understood that the detective, who is a member of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), had just finished his shift at the Garda's Dublin headquarters in Harcourt Street when the drama unfolded.
It emerged that the officer, who has previously received an award for bravery, heard a call on his garda radio from Command and Control centre about an ongoing robbery at the nearby Conrad Hotel at 1am. Sources say that as this happened, the detective, who is in his early 40s, observed a suspicious car driving towards him with its lights off.
It is understood that a young woman from Finglas, along with two young men from Cabra and Finglas, were in the car which was stopped at the junction of Kingsland Parade and Portobello Road in south Dublin at 2am.
The detective called for back-up, got out of his vehicle and the male occupants of the other car jumped out of their car, it is alleged.
Witnesses said that the garda warned repeatedly for the individuals to put their hands over their heads, but it is unclear if the officer got a chance to produce his official Garda ID.
It is understood that a struggle then ensued, which resulted in the officer's handgun being discharged.
The 24-year-old was shot in the shoulder. The incident led to a major response from the emergency services and the man was rushed to hospital.
A 23-year-old man was arrested in relation to outstanding bench warrants and the woman, aged in her 20s and from Finglas, was not arrested.
It is understood that a small quantity of cocaine was seized in the aftermath of the shooting.
Last night, sources said that gardaí did not think the three people involved in the drama were suspects for the earlier robbery at the five-star hotel.
At 1am yesterday, three raiders entered the hotel on Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, wearing balaclavas and carrying knives.
The raiders threatened two staff members and claimed they had a firearm. The workers were locked in a baggage room and threatened during the ordeal.
Staff were ordered to open the safe, but were unable to do so as it was time-locked.
The raiders fled with a sum of money, believed to be around €300, from a cash till float.
Residents near the Kingsland Parade shooting said they heard what they assumed to be a garda shouting two or three warnings before hearing a gunshot.
"We could hear shouting at around 2am and at first we thought it was some drunk people, but then we heard a voice shouting 'put your hands over your head' two or three times, and then heard a gunshot," said one neighbour.
"Then there was more shouting, like 'he's dead' and 'what have you done', and we could hear a woman screaming, too. Then a garda van and an ambulance arrived," they added.
Another local resident said she was woken by the gunshot, and then heard shouting, and a man screaming "get the f**k away from me".
The matter is being investigated by the An Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) as it was a matter in which a garda was involved in discharging a weapon.
The commission issued a statement asking for witnesses to the incident to come forward.