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Garda wait to quiz shooting victim in farm raid mystery

GARDAI will interview a man injured in a shooting on a farm in North County Dublin.

The 34-year-old man sustained severe injuries to his arm and had emergency surgery.

A source said the man, who is known to gardai and was on bail for theft charges, was "lucky not to lose his arm".

Today, officers are trying to establish if he had been shot when a farm employee confronted a suspected burglar in a field at Maryland farm in Kilsallaghan on Thursday evening.

Truck driver Richard Lowndes Junior, known as Graham, fired a blast from his legally held shotgun.


His pensioner father Richard Lowndes (79), who lives at the farm, said his son had arrived at the farm on Thursday and found the suspect in a silver Lexus car in the farmyard.

Mr Lowndes attempted to block the exit from the farmyard but the Lexus made off across the field before getting stuck in soft ground beside a ditch, off the main road.

Mr Lowndes was unable to locate his father who had managed the farm for a German businessman. He was unaware that his father was not at home at the time.

He set off across the field with his shotgun and when the Lexus came to a halt, the driver and Mr Lowndes "exchanged words".

The suspect was then picked up by another man in a jeep -- and it was at this stage that shots were fired.

The victim was wounded in the arm by the blast.

The injured Finglas man, who has a number of criminal convictions and is a suspect in a series of burglaries in Dublin, underwent surgery at Beaumont Hospital on Thursday.

The wounded man is believed to have been to the farmhouse earlier in the day when he arrived and told the pensioner that his mother was ill. The pensioner invited them in and made a cup of tea for them. The pensioner told them that he was going to be away from home for the afternoon. The Finglas man later returned to the farmhouse when it was unoccupied.

It is believed the wounded man claimed he went to the farmhouse for help after his van broke down.

He said that he returned to the farmhouse merely to thank the pensioner a second time for his kindness. He claimed he was pursued and shot by Mr Lowndes' son.

Local priest Fr Gabriel O'Dowd, a friend of the Lowndes family, said that a man and a woman had arrived at the farmhouse. The man said the woman was feeling ill.

Richard "looked after them" and made them tea as he is "a kind and gentle man." He told them he would be away later in the afternoon.

Mr Lowndes Snr told the Herald he believed €200 and two watches had been stolen from the farmhouse.

He said his son arrived at the farm and "could see that the place had been broken into".

He locked a gate which prevented the man from driving out through the entrance. The suspected burglar then drove a Lexus car across fields where he got bogged down and was confronted by his son and shot.

The pensioner said the house was broken into and spades had been used in a bid to open a gun cabinet.


Richard declined to say how many guns were there but said that the raiders were desperate to get them.

He said the weapons were the property of the German owner of the farm.

"They ransacked the place looking for the keys but did not get them," he said.

Earlier this year, new laws which allow a homeowner to use reasonable force in defending themselves from an intruder came into force.

The new Criminal Law permits the use of reasonable force to protect people inside the home, the property itself, to prevent the commission of a crime or to make a lawful arrest.