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Horse was guest of honour at wake of gangland victim

A WAKE at which a horse was reportedly a "guest of honour" ended with a female garda being struck by a bottle.

The young officer received minor injuries when she was called to a disturbance on the street in Priorswood, which erupted after the funeral of gangland victim Noel Deans.

Deans (27) was gunned down as he walked on Ferrycarrig Road, Coolock, on January 16.

The dead man kept a number of horses and one of his favourite animals was brought to his wake, and taken into a northside bar while Deans' family and friends mourned him.

Associates of Deans then arrived at the wake and began drinking heavily.

On leaving the premises a row broke out and gardai from Coolock were called to the scene. A number of Deans' associates -- not family members -- are understood to have reacted violently when gardai arrived.

A number of bottles and glasses were thrown at gardai, one of which struck the young female officer on the head. She was taken to Beaumont Hospital but her injuries were not serious and she was discharged.

A source told the Herald: "The celebrations started off in a good-natured way, and they even brought in Deans' favourite horse at one stage as a guest of honour. But some of Deans' criminal pals arrived and things got messy. A fight broke out on the street and when the guards arrived they were showered with glass and bottles, before they got it under control."


The source added: "Incidents like this highlight the sort of dangers that young gardai are being faced with everyday."

The incident took place on January 23 last, a week after Deans had been shot dead. He was targeted after leaving a local bar, the Priorwood Inn, where he had spent the evening drinking.

Deans was not regarded as a serious criminal and his murder shocked gardai and locals. It is thought that he was murdered over a small cash debt, possibly just €500.

The dead man, who had an address at Greenwood Lawn in Coolock, was originally from Darndale.

A post-mortem examination was conducted last night on the body of the the father-of-one, who had been in and out of prison over the past 13 years.

He had appeared in front of the courts for a range offences related to running over a garda, crack cocaine, criminal damage to cars, heroin, dangerous driving, petrol sniffing and ambushing and assaulting a taxi driver.

The courts regularly heard of Deans' psychiatric problems and he was described as being a manic character with a long history of self-destructive behaviour.

He was imprisoned for the first time at the age of 14.