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Armed man shot by gardai after threats

A MAN in his 20s is today in a stable condition after being shot by armed gardai at a pub in Cork as he threatened staff and customers with a shotgun.

Members of the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) dashed to the scene at the Mo Chuisle Pub on Cork's Blarney Street at 6.40pm.

He was shot after he had repeatedly ignored shouted warnings from RSU officers to drop his firearm and surrender.

Gardai are investigating if the man had a grudge against the bar owner. He is related to a man who died outside the premises two years ago after being refused a drink, and the pub has come under gunfire once since.

It is the first time RSU officers have been involved in a shooting, with their only previous armed intervention being the use of a Taser stun-gun in Limerick.

The drama unfolded after the armed man walked into the pub carrying a shotgun and demanding to speak to the owner. He was not in the pub at the time, but the man then became agitated and threatened customers and staff.

A witness passing the pub spotted what had happened and alerted Gurranabraher Garda Station.

An RSU team already in the vicinity arrived within minutes of the alarm being raised.

Several highly trained armed officers stormed the pub and demanded the man drop the shotgun and surrender. But the man ignored the orders and turned, allegedly aiming the shotgun towards pub customers.

A number of shots were then discharged and the young man was hit at least once in the stomach.

After being taken down the man was then rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where he underwent emergency surgery last night.

The young man's condition was first said to be critical be he stabilised overnight.

Detectives are investigating whether the incident may be linked to the tragic death of Anthony Hennessy (41) outside the same pub in March 2008.

An inquest in 2009 heard that Hennessy, of Chapel Field, Gurranabraher, Cork collapsed outside the Cork pub after being refused alcohol. He died of neck compression.

A post-mortem found acute alcohol consumption was a contributory factor, and a number of people were later cleared at the Circuit Criminal court on charges relating to Hennessy's death.

Last night's incident will now be the subject of a full review by the Garda Ombudsman's Office in accordance with normal procedures.