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Daniel Gaynor: life and death of a gun for hire

GARDAI are continuing the hunt for the killers of Daniel Gaynor who was gunned down in front of his young children at the weekend.

As the inquiry into the latest gangland hit continues, a fuller picture of the victim, who was linked to several deaths around the city, has emerged.

Hot-tempered hitman Gaynor had been amassing so many enemies it was only a matter of time before he was shot, according to sources.

Gaynor (25) was suspected of involvement in at least four murders and had a serious reputation for violent and erratic behaviour.

The gun for hire was just seven years of age when his father was shot dead by gardai during a botched raid on the Tara Post Office in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.

Gaynor grew up with little regard for the law and died by the gun.


He was murdered by a lone gunman who shot him three times, once fatally in the neck, as he and his family walked along St Helena's Road in Finglas, just metres from his partner's house, at 6.50pm.

Gardai discovered the murder weapon and investigations are continuing but numerous lines of enquiry and possible motives for the killing are emerging because of Gaynor's violent past.

Gaynor seemed destined for a life of crime from an early age and had been convicted of his first serious offence by the age of 19.

In 2004, Gaynor was given a six-year sentence for firing a gunshot through the window of the house of another teenager because he was owed €100.

Gaynor was tried and convicted of witness intimidation in relation to the same case in 2006.

The court heard that the intimidation of the 62-year-old female victim was so severe that a witness protection programme was "immediately" arranged for her.

Gaynor told her that her son's days were numbered and made a gesture of a shotgun to his head.

In November 2007, he received an 18-month sentence after he was caught with cocaine and diazepam during a 2005 appearance at Dublin District Court.

Gaynor should have been behind bars at the time of his death.

In March, he was jailed for three months for repeatedly punching a man he blamed for attacking his brother.

Judge David McHugh suspended the sentence for a year but it was set to have been reactivated last month when Gaynor was brought before the courts for public order offences, but he walked free from the courts pending an appeal of that decision which will never be heard.

Gaynor's involvement in crime evolved into the more sinister world of being a gun-for-hire after his release from prison in 2008.

He was a leading suspect in at least three murders and was interviewed by gardai on a number of occasions.

Gaynor was the main suspect in the shooting of postman Robert Delany in 2008.

The shooting left innocent Robert (28), also a father of two children, in a vegetative state in hospital needing 24-hour care.

Gaynor (25) and another Finglas man are believed to have been recruited as thugs-for-hire to carry out the attack on the innocent father-of-two because he had intervened in a pub row.

Unknown to Delany, one of the men involved in the fight he broke up was the son of a Republican figure, based in Dublin, who vowed revenge.

Weeks later, Delany was blasted in the head with a shotgun when he looked out of his apartment window in Tallaght's Russell Rise.

Gaynor was also questioned over the knife murder of Maurice Martin in Finglas in June 2009.

The 21-year-old was stabbed to death in a fight following a party. He then staggered along a pavement before collapsing on a grass verge at the junction of Cardiffsbridge Road and Tolka Valley Road.

Gaynor was also a leading suspect in the murder of Jason Egan (23) who was shot dead in Parlickstown in October of last year. Mr Egan (23) was closing his family's Centrepoint newsagent on the corner of Ladyswell Road, in Mulhuddart, when he was shot at least four times in the chest by a lone gunman.

Detectives are investigating whether the motive for Gaynor's murder was his suspected involvement in the shooting dead of, Colm 'Collie' Owens an associate of Eamonn 'The Don' Dunne.

Owens (34), was shot eight times in the head and body at the Corn Store animal feed warehouse, where he worked, in the Grove industrial estate, Dubber Cross, Finglas.