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Mum of witness in fear after shootout near family home

THE mother of a woman under 24-hour garda protection said she's living in fear after a shootout took place near her daughter's home.

Vicky McElligott told the Herald of her concerns after a pal of criminal Derek 'Bottler' Devoy was arrested following the shootout in Knowth Court, Poppintree, last week.

Vicky's daughter Victoria (32), a mother of one, testified against Devoy in 2007 after he shot at her two brothers Eugene and John Paul outside their family home in 2005.

'Bottler' Devoy (27) later received a seven-year sentence to run concurrently with a sentence he had already received for armed robbery.

But just two days after the murder of Baiba Saulite at her home on in 2006, before the case had come to court, detectives approached Victoria and told her that a contract was out on her life. She and her son have lived under 24-hour garda surveillance ever since.

Victoria's mother Vicky told the Herald of the fear which has returned to her family since the shootout on Wednesday December 29 in Ballymun.

The incident saw a 35-year-old man fired at by three men in a car, as he walked along Knowth Court in Ballymun at 7.30am on December 29.

Incredibly the man produced his own weapon and fired at least one shot in retaliation.

The 35-year-old was arrested and questioned following the incident. He was released and a file has been sent to the DPP.

"The feeling was this man made the story up himself," she said. "This individual could be pretending to be out of his trolley and he could shoot my daughter dead and say that he thought he was defending himself. He could walk right up in broad daylight and do it."

Vicky believes her daughter may have to live the rest of her life under garda protection.

"I think my daughter is one of the only women in the south of Ireland who is under constant garda protection," she added.

"I've spoken to Roy Collins' father Steve and Baiba Saulite's solicitor John Hennessy about setting up a support group for people on 24-hour protection.

"I'm coming from a mother's point of view and I want my daughter to be safe.

"What is the procedure when you go under 24-hour guard? How are you supposed to get back to living a normal life?

"If you go into the witness protection programme, you lose your name and if you don't have a profession you can't just step into a job."

'Bottler' Devoy -- a notorious criminal -- has over two dozen convictions and is an associate of the two main suspects in the double killing of Martin 'Marlo' Hyland and innocent plumber Anthony Campbell, among other gangsters.