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Thursday 19 July 2018

Man shot during struggle with off-duty garda is the son of gangland murder victim

Crime scene Investigators at the Scene of a shooting incident on Portobello Rd and Walworth Tce
Crime scene Investigators at the Scene of a shooting incident on Portobello Rd and Walworth Tce
The scene were a man was shot in the shoulder during a struggle with an off-duty garda at the junction of Kingsland Parade and Portobello Road, Dublin

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

The man shot during a struggle with an off-duty garda is the son of a gangland murder victim.

The 24-year-old, who has more than 40 previous convictions, was confronted by the garda, who initially believed he was a suspect for an armed robbery at a top hotel nearby.

He was still being treated for gunshot injuries to his shoulder last night. can reveal that his father was previously shot dead in a gangland hit by mob boss Eamon 'the Don' Dunne's gang.

In Tuesday night's incident, the highly-respected detective - a member of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) - had just finished his shift at the Garda's Dublin headquarters in Harcourt Street.

The officer, who has previously received an award for bravery, heard a call on his radio from the force's command and control centre in relation to an armed robbery at the nearby Conrad Hotel at 1am.

Sources said that as this happened, the detective, who is in his early 40s, saw a car driving towards him with its lights off.

The car, which contained a young woman from Finglas as well as two men - one from Cabra and the second from Finglas - stopped at the junction of Kingsland Parade and Portobello Road at 2am.

After calling for back up, the detective got out of his vehicle, while it is alleged the two male occupants jumped out of the other car.

Witnesses said the garda repeatedly warned the two men 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 a struggle then ensued, which resulted in the officer's handgun being discharged and the 24-year-old being shot in the shoulder.

Local residents 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.

The incident led to a major response from the emergency services.

The 24-year-old shooting victim was rushed to hospital while his 23-year-old friend was subsequently arrested in relation to outstanding bench warrants.

Their female companion, who is aged in her 20s and from Finglas, was not arrested.

It is understood that a small quantity of cocaine was seized by gardai in the aftermath of the shooting.

Last night, sources said that gardai did not think the three people involved in the drama were actually suspects for the earlier robbery at the five-star Conrad 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 float.

A local resident said she was woken by the gunshot in the later incident, and then heard shouting, and a man screaming "get the f**k away from me".

The man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and the scene was immediately sealed off.

The matter is being investigated by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), as it was a matter in which a garda was involved in discharging a weapon.

The GSOC issued a statement in which it asked for any witnesses to the incident to come forward.

"The incident involved a garda member and three other people and happened at around 2am," it said.

"During the course of the incident an official garda firearm was discharged and a man was injured. He is currently receiving medical attention and his injury is described as non-life-threatening."

As the scene was being forensically examined yesterday, a paramedic's equipment bag and oxygen supply case could be seen on the canal bank where the emergency services had treated the wounded man.

Garda evidence bags were also placed under a nearby park bench, possibly covering other evidence, and members of the Garda Technical Bureau were paying close attention to a red Toyota car that was parked further down Portobello Road.

The garda who discharged the firearm is a highly-respected detective who is heavily involved in the force's investigations into dissident republican terrorists.

Originally from the west of Ireland, he has previously received a bravery award for saving the lives of a number of men.

Even though he was off-duty, the detective was entitled to carry a weapon with him because of the unit he works for.

Meanwhile, a major investigation is ongoing into the earlier hotel robbery and there have been no arrests made in that case.

The Conrad Hotel's manager Martin Mangan said that while the incident was traumatic for the staff, nobody was physically harmed and the gang fled through a side or back exit.

"No hotel guests were affected, and the small number of team members and contractors impacted by the incident are safe," he said.

"The well-being, safety and security of our team members and guests are a priority, and our efforts are currently focused on providing support services to the impacted team members and contractors, and working with the gardai as they complete their investigation.

"The robbery was also recorded on our CCTV system, which was only recently upgraded as part of an overall large-scale refurbishment," Mr Mangan added.


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