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Love/Hate's right on 'Wild West' Dublin, says gang victim's mum

THE parents of a gangland victim Donna Cleary say Love/Hate's protrayal of Dublin as "the Wild West" is very accurate.

Earlier this week three men were shot in 12 hours prompting Peter and Kathleen Cleary to express deep concern about the growing threat of armed violence.

Their daughter Donna was shot dead after a man opened fire indiscriminately with a handgun outside a house in Dublin in 2006.

"The whole of Ireland has been swung around. It's everywhere... It's like going back to the days of The Wild West.

"Like everyone will be carrying guns and shooting people all over the place," said Peter (63) at their home in Castlekevin Road in Kilmore.

Kathleen says RTE's gangland series Love/Hate is "very realistic".


They spoke movingly of their daughter Donna (22) who was killed after a man was apparently refused admission to a house party. Donna, an innocent victim attending the party, was the mother of two-year-old son Clayton.

Clayton, now 8, is the light of their lives.

Mr Cleary strongly rejects comments that their innocent daughter was killed because she was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"She was not in the wrong place. Everyone has a right to go out at night," he said.

The Clearys are dismayed at the cost-saving decision to close at night-time an array of garda stations across Dublin. "Most crime happens at night. That's when the guards are most needed. No one can arrange for crime only to happen before 9pm," said Mr Cleary.

"Nowadays, I'm nearly afraid of my life going into town. You'd almost be afraid to say anything to anyone in case they'd start shooting," said Peter.

Kathleen (62) is saddened by the mounting toll of shooting victims in Dublin. "It's all tit-for-tat now," she said.

"I really miss Donna. Even how she used to pluck my eyebrows and massage them. She did all that beautician stuff."

Kathleen wears Donna's diamond engagement ring in her memory. "Donna used to say to me: 'Can I have your jewellery when you die?' How little did I know she'd get there first," said Kathleen.

"And she taught me to drive. I know that she would want me to go out of the house. That's why I do line-dancing and aerobics. Donna did kickboxing and aerobics. I think it's important to try to go out because if you didn't you'd crack up," said Kathleen.

"I believe that time is a healer. Peter doesn't believe that. He doesn't go out that much but is starting to come out a bit more. I got counselling after what happened but Peter didn't."

Peter recalled how their generous and compassionate only daughter would brighten up their home with a big smile everytime she arrived home.