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'They saw Shane and shot him in the back, I just ran to graveyard'

A DUBLIN criminal who was with Ireland's latest gangland victim when he was murdered today revealed how the ruthless gunman fired a shot at him.nth.

Paul ‘Poncho' McCarthy was in the house when his friend Shane Rossiter (30) was gunned down in Golden, Co Tipperary.

‘Poncho' (28) spoke to the Herald of his terror at seeing Rossiter being shot in the back.

He revealed that he now plans to flee the country following the shocking murder.

McCarthy, from Crumlin, was forced to leave Dublin last week after being warned that there is an active threat

to his life because he is the half-brother of Declan O' Reilly -- the man shot dead in front of his 11-year-old son last mo

Recounting the events leading up to the Tipperary shooting on Wednesday morning, he said: "I had been in the house in Golden for a couple of days.

"We had been up all night -- Shane, Shane's sister Sharon, my cousin and me.

"Shane was looking for some grass -- some green. Shane rang someone to organise it that morning and then a car pulled up outside. It was a set-up.


"I went out and said to them 'what's the craic' and then I saw the shotgun so I just legged it.

"They saw Shane and they shot him in the back. I just jumped over the wall and ran into the graveyard, they fired at me as well.

"The car had blacked out windows -- I was not the intended target but they could have killed me as well. I am in bits over this, of course I am. I went to Tipperary because of the threats on me in Dublin but I have to leave there now as well. Shane's family are in a terrible way.

"When the gardai came, I was taken to Tipperary Garda Station. I was kept there for hours on Wednesday. The gardai took my mobile phone -- I have still not got it back -- they say they need it as part of the murder investigation."

'Poncho' became a major target for one of the capital's most notorious drugs gangs when he went to a south city flats complex in the aftermath of Declan O'Reilly's murder and demanded to know who had shot his brother. Since then he has endured a campaign of intimidation which included the home of his relatives being shot-up and a bungled attack on his family home in Crumlin in which the thugs involved targeted the wrong house causing hundreds of euro of damage.

Meanwhile, it has emerged today that victim Shane Rossiter had been deported from Australia just a month ago.

By 2008, Rossiter had earned almost 20 criminal convictions for numerous offences committed in Tipperary including assault, burglary, the sale and supply of drugs and public order offences.

He left for Australia in recent years and stayed in Sydney and Perth before he was deported.

An intensive garda investigation continues into the shocking murder.