JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter is facing his first big test following a brazen shooting within metres of children playing soccer.
Mr Shatter is under intense pressure to crack down on gangland crime in the wake of Tuesday's incident in which Declan O'Reilly (30) was seriously wounded.
Children played just a short distance from where six shots were fired at O'Reilly in a laneway in Harold's Cross.
The youngsters, some only 10 and 11 years old, were at soccer training as a hitman opened fire.
Fianna Fail's Jim O'Callaghan told the Herald today that Mr Shatter needed to act quickly and restore depleted resources.
"The unit that takes on gangland criminals has to be given the resources they require. That is the only guaranteed way of defeating them," the Dublin city councillor said.
"It's a very serious development that gangland criminals are now prepared to attempt murder in areas where kids are playing," Mr O'Callaghan said.
"It just shows how brazen and cocky these gangs have become. The only guaranteed measure to defeat them is through assisting and supporting An Garda Siochana and the resources they require," Mr O'Callaghan added.
O'Reilly, of Parnell Road in Harold's Cross, is recovering despite having a bullet lodged in his chest. He was blasted in the upper body as he brought his 10-year-old son to football practice.
After telling his son to run, O'Reilly tackled the gunman. The weapon fired, hitting O'Reilly in the chest and arm, and the shooter fled on his bicycle.
The motive for the shooting is not yet known but O'Reilly was acquitted of murdering fellow Mountjoy inmate Derek Glennon in 2007 and gardai are examining if there is a possible retaliation link.
See Analysis, Page 14