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The chief suspect for the city's latest gun murder has been arrested

The suspected gunman was detained after a Dublin father was gunned down in front of his two sons in the brutal slaying.

Edward O'Connor (42) was shot three times in the back on Ballycoolin Road on the outskirts of Finglas at 5pm yesterday.

A 22-year-old man, who is known to gardai, was arrested at noon today and is being held at Blanchardstown garda station.

Sources told the Herald that Mr O'Connor may have been gunned down over claims he sexually abusing a young woman. No proof of the allegations has ever come to light.

The murdered man's two brothers are also believed to have witnessed his killing.

A woman and her boyfriend also remain in garda custody today. It is believed they may have some key information in relation to the murder.

The horrific incident, which happened on a roadside near a breaker's yard at 5pm yesterday, was also witnessed by the murdered man's two brothers.

It is understood that the victim was involved in a vicious row in The Full Shilling pub in Finglas in the early hours of yesterday, only hours before he was shot dead in a targeted attack.

Sources said the shooting is connected to the fight between Mr O'Connor's son Darren and another man in the pub.

 

BITTEN

Darren O'Connor was seriously assaulted during the row and part of his ear had been bitten off.

Sources said that Edward O'Connor, accompanied by his sons Darren and Eugene and his two brothers, met the man who was involved in the pub attack for a "straightener" to sort out their differences.

It is understood that the two men had a fist fight and had then shaken hands.

The O'Connors were walking away when another man who was present produced a handgun and shot the victim three times in the back.

The killer then fled the scene with the man who had assaulted Darren O'Connor.

Paramedics tried to save Mr O'Connor at the scene, but he was pronounced dead in James Connolly Memorial Hospital an hour later.

A 59-year-old man who lives near the scene of the fatal shooting spoke of the shock and sadness that has enveloped the local community.

"I've known the family for all of my life. My heart goes out to them today. The O'Connor family have lived in the area since the 1960s," he said.

"It happened at the original family home. They're a hard-working family and they are in our prayers today.

"Nothing like this has ever happened around here before. It's a tragedy."

A 33-year-old woman who lives close to the shooting scene said today that she did not hear anything and only found out there had been a killing when she turned on her radio.

 

SHOCKED

"I was shocked. I told my husband and we realised how close it was to our home," she said.

"This is such a quiet area. It is great for children to grow up in. All the homes around here have long gardens to play in. It's hard to believe what has happened." Throughout the morning, garda forensic experts worked at the scene of the killing. Crime scene tape prevented vehicles and pedestrians from coming near the place where the shooting happened. The Ballycoolin Road remained closed to all traffic.

At the original O'Connor home, a German Shepherd dog stood guard amid the dozens of old cars what covered a large section of land beside the disused cottage.

The suspect is aged in his early 20s and from the Finglas area.


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