Thursday 19 September 2019

'We have no closure' - Heartbroken family of innocent postman (36) who was left 'in vegetative state' after shooting

Robert Delany's parents Terry and Noleen
Robert Delany's parents Terry and Noleen

Ken Foy

The heartbroken family of an innocent 36-year-old postman who was left in a permanent vegetative state after being shot at his Tallaght home nine years ago say they cannot get any closure.

Robert Delany remains in a vegetative state in hospital after a murder attempt at his home in Tallaght on October 22, 2008.

Postman Robert Delany was shot in October 2008
Postman Robert Delany was shot in October 2008

The ninth anniversary of the shocking gun attack was last Sunday and, in an interview with the Herald, his dad Terry explained that it was "a very difficult day".

Terry said that he and his wife Noleen visited Robert at Dublin's Peamount Hospital, where they spent a couple of hours with the gun victim - something they do every day.

"It was an emotional day, a very difficult day on the anniversary of the attack on Robert. As time goes on it actually gets more difficult," Terry told the Herald.

"Time has not been a good healer in our case. I feel that if Robert had actually been shot dead, time could have been a healer, but the situation we have means that we have no closure."

Robert was shot by Finglas gun-for-hire Daniel Gaynor, who was murdered as part of a criminal dispute two years later.

Gaynor's brother, Robert (28), remains the only person convicted in relation to the shooting. He was jailed for 20 months for stealing a vehicle that was later used as the getaway car in the attempted murder.

A total of nine people were detained by gardai but there have been no arrests for a number of years.

However, Terry is satisfied with how officers have investigated the case.

"The gardai are still in touch and we still hold out hope that there might be a new development at some stage," he said.

Among those arrested in connection with the gun attack on Robert are Tallaght man Andrew Noonan (37) and his ex-Provo father John Noonan, who were both released without charge after being questioned by officers.

In July of this year, the Leinster Senior League (LSL) appointed Andrew Noonan to manage its representative football team and this is something that "greatly disappoints" Terry, who previously protested when Mr Noonan was made manager of Bluebell United more than six years ago.

Terry claimed that Mr Noonan should not have been given these prestigious football positions because he was twice arrested in relation to the shooting and has a previous conviction for a firearms offence.

It previously emerged that Terry felt so strongly about the appointment that he wrote letters to the LSL and FAI asking for the decision to appoint Mr Noonan to be rescinded.

Gardai believe that Robert was shot because he had tried to stop a pub row in south Co Dublin a couple of weeks earlier.

Following his intervention in the argument, Robert had been told: "We'll get you."

The shooting was carried out on October 22, 2008, at the apartment where Robert lived with his then partner and two children, at Russell Rise, off Fortunestown Way, in Tallaght.

Robert had looked out the window after his doorbell rang and was hit by a blast of 20 shotgun pellets, 16 of which are lodged in his brain.

Gardai quickly identified slain Daniel Gaynor as the gunman.


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