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Shot pal in bedside vigil as ‘Ossie’ fights for life

THE man who miraculously survived Monday's pub shooting spree has visited his stricken friend in hospital.

Brian Masterson joined the family of Austen 'Ossie' Purcell (23) in a bedside vigil as his friend battles to recover from gunshot wounds to the chest.

"I went up to the hospital yesterday to give my support," he told the Herald this morning.

"We're all continuing to pray for Ossie and for the other man [Wayne Barrett] who was caught up in this."

Innocent customer Mr Purcell (23), a taxi driver from Brian Road, Marino, remains in a "critical but stable" condition at the Mater Hospital.

He was placed in a coma on Monday and underwent surgery on injuries to his chest

Mr Masterson said today that he has been in pain since he has discharged from hospital following the shootings by a lone gunman at 12.30am on Monday at The Players Lounge pub in Fairview.

"I've not been sleeping great and everything is sore -- but Ossie is my main concern. He has great support around him and we're all praying for the best," he said.

Mr Masterson (30) of St Mary's Road, East Wall, exclusively revealed to the Herald the extent of his injuries.



Grazed

One bullet entered his side and came out of his back near his right kidney. Another penetrated his right arm and came out the other side, and a third bullet grazed across his chest.

He said that as he lay injured, he waited for the gunman to finish him off.

"I couldn't move. I was lying there and I just realised we had been shot. I was waiting to hear the footsteps and then be finished off," he said. "I was screaming at Ossie. I could only see his feet and I didn't know how he was. Then I heard him screaming. At least I knew he was alive then," he added.

The uncle of doorman Wayne Barrett, who continues to battle for his life, has described him as a "gentle giant" who was never involved in criminality.

Martin Cummins revealed how his nephew (31) remained in a critical condition at Beaumont Hospital this morning after he was shot twice in the body and once in the head.

He said the bullet struck Wayne on the head and "broke up" as it entered his skull, leaving the innocent bouncer in a desperate battle for his life.

Mr Cummins rubbished suggestions that Wayne was involved in criminality and revealed that he had only been working for his new company for two weeks.

"If Wayne ever had any dealing with the gardai, it would have been on the basis of a parking ticket," Mr Cummins, from Blanchardstown, said.

He was speaking in light of suggestions that the motive for the shooting was a turf war between former republicans and Dublin criminal elements over the control of door security in the city.



Dispute

Gardai are satisfied Mr Barrett, from Finglas, had no connection with any illegal activity but could have been unwittingly associated with some of those involved in the dispute.

According to Mr Cummins, Mr Barrett had been employed as a pub doorman for "a few years", was not an imposing figure but a "gentle giant".

"Wayne went out on Sunday night to do a night's work, not to be involved in something like that, not to cause problems for people," he said.

"He was one of the nicest people you could meet.

"People will have an impression of the half-baked gorilla with the cauliflower ear and what have you, that worked doors. Wayne was nothing like that.

"Anyone who knows Wayne would know that he would not be capable of wishing anything like this on anyone."

Gardai are also investigating whether the gunman was refused entry earlier that evening and returned later, armed with two handguns.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that he was concerned over the possible involvement of dissident republicans in the attack.

He stated his belief that this was not a "normal gangland-type" crime and urged people with information to come forward.

hnews@herald.ie


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