'My daughter (5) found loaded gun and tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy,' says father
The father of a five-year-old girl who found a loaded gun while playing with friends has told of his shock at the grim discovery.
Modestas Gilys (38) said that his daughter tried to pick up the Glock on Thursday afternoon - but luckily the gun was too heavy for her to hold.
Mr Gilys said his son (7) ran into the house to alert him of the firearm, which is suspected locally of having been flung over the railings on to the green area in the Castlecurragh Park estate, Mulhuddart, Dublin, from a moving car being chased by gardaí.
The father of three said while his children still played with their friends outside yesterday, his son had been protective of his little sister and the young boy had lost sleep worrying about the incident.
"I was at home and the kids were playing over by the hill," he said.
"My five-year-old found it and she told her brother. He ran home to me and told me what they had found.
"He said, 'We've found a real gun'. At first, I thought maybe he's joking, but I said we'd go together and see.
"My daughter had tried to pick it up, but it was too heavy for her to carry and then my son came over to tell me it's a real gun."
Mr Gilys was grateful that things had not turned out worse for his children. He said the area had always been quiet but in recent times it was growing less safe for families.
"This region in the last five years was very quiet but in the last eight months it is not quiet and not safe for kids.
"They still played today, but my son was a little strange. He didn't sleep and wanted to stay with his sister.
"This morning, I explained to him you just never know what can happen or what you might find. It was a big shock."
Gardaí in Blanchardstown are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the firearm.
The Dublin 15 area has been hit by a number of incidents of late, with the gun discovery in Mulhuddart the second incident in seven days.
Last weekend, a man was shot a number of times in nearby Castlecurragh Heath, just yards from where the handgun was found.
Another local, a mother of two, also revealed how frightening the gun discovery was for her. "When we bought this house two years ago I always felt safe," she said.
Local councillors have also spoken out against the incident, saying children should be able to play safely outside their homes.
Sinn Féin councillor Breda Hanaphy said it was the "worst-case scenario".
"Locals are wondering if it is safe for their children to go out to play," she said.