Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin: Gardai Probe Dissident Republican Link To Triple Shooting In Park

28 Mar

Gardaí are investigating a possible dissident republican involvement in the shooting of three people in a public park in Dublin yesterday.

 Corduff Park - Men were drinking vodka
 Corduff Park – Men were drinking vodka

Three injured in Dublin shooting

Gardaí are investigating a possible dissident republican involvement in the shooting of three people in a public park in Dublin yesterday morning.

The three men, who are in their 20s, are still being treated in hospital today.

Two men were admitted to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown. One remains in the intensive care unit. The other is stable.

The third man was admitted to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, where his condition is described as stable.

Gardaí are treating the attack as attempted murder.

The men, two cousins and their friend, were drinking vodka at 11.15am in Corduff Park when two gunmen walked up and shot them.

The gunmen escaped in the direction of Edgewood Lawns.

Two were hit several times in the body but managed to run to a nearby house to raise the alarm. The third was shot in the head – a bullet lodged just below his eye.

The three were known to gardaí for violent and anti-social behaviour.

One served time in prison for an assault on a teacher eight years ago.

Gardaí at Blanchardstown are appealing to anyone in the Corduff Park/Edgewood Lawns area between 11am and 11.30am yesterday morning to contact them.

An incident room has been set up at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01 666 7000 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

www.garda.ie

NEWS UPDATE:

BLANCHARDSTOWN: GARDAI LAUNCH ATTEMPTED TRIPLE MURDER PROBE FOLLOWING SHOOTING OF THREE THUGS IN CORDUFF PARK:

HUNDREDS of children escaped the terror of a triple shooting yesterday morning because a charity event curtailed their usual weekly football gathering at their local park.

Three men in their 20s who were drinking at playing fields in Corduff Park in west Dublin were shot at close range by two masked men who walked calmly across an open green to reach them and escaped on foot into a nearby housing estate.

Two of the victims managed to make their way to a house close by to raise the alarm despite their injuries, but a third was shot in the head and collapsed on the spot. He was critically ill in hospital last night, while the condition of his companions was described as serious.

Two of the men are related and all three are from the area and known to gardaí, but are not major players in criminal activity and are believed to have been targeted over a local dispute.

The brazen broad daylight attack, which took place at 11.15am, shocked the local community, but it could have been much worse, as normally the fields would be thronged with members of Corduff Football Club.

Club PRO John McGuinness said all matches were postponed and training sessions curtailed to let members take part in the Walk of Dreams fundraising event that was taking place in the city for football star John Giles’ charitable foundation.

“Any other Sunday there would have been 350 kids down here. We’re here from 9am to 2pm and the place is packed. As it was, my own under-14s were training here. We meet at 11am up at the sports centre and then go on to the pitch so, if this had happened 15 minutes later, the kids would have been out there. We’re just grateful none of them were affected,” said Mr McGuinness.

Gardaí sealed off the entire park as forensics experts scoured the area. The attackers ran into the adjacent Edgewood Lawns after the attack.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he shared local people’s sense of revulsion. “This type of incident is revolting to all law abiding citizens. I call on every person who can help the gardaí in any way with even the smallest scrap of information to make contact with them.”

————-

Gardaí are investigating if the shooting of three men in West Dublin yesterday morning may have been linked to dissident republican vigilantes.

Corduff Park, Blanchardstown remained closed last night as gardaí continued to search it for evidence as part of their investigation into the mid-morning shootings.

The victims, all in their 20s, were in the park at around 11.15am yesterday drinking vodka when two men dressed in dark clothes approached them.

As the two got closer, they donned balaclavas and opened fire on the three men with what were thought to have been handguns.

One of the victims was shot in the head and fell to the ground. The other two were also hit, but managed to run to a nearby house and raise the alarm.

Their attackers ran on foot through the park to Edgewood Lawns, a nearby estate.

The three injured men were taken to James Connolly hospital, Blanchardstown and the Mater hospital, in Dublin city centre.

Last night one of the men was in a critical condition and the other two were described as serious. One of the men had served a lengthy jail sentence for the serious assault of a man.

A Garda source said they were exploring the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by dissident republican vigilantes.

Gardaí at Blanchardstown appealed for anyone who was in the area around the time of the attack to contact them.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter also called on locals “who can help the gardaí in any way with even the smallest scrap of information” to make contact.

He said he shared the sense of revulsion at the incident, which occurred in broad daylight. “This type of incident is revolting to all law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Local residents said it was a miracle the park had not been full of football players. The teams that normally play there, from Corduff Football Club, are aged four years and up.

This weekend all junior football had been cancelled to allow teams to take part in the Johnny Giles inaugural “Walk of Dreams”, a sponsored walk to raise money for charity.

None of the locals who talked to The Irish Times last night was willing to be identified.

One man said he was sorry to hear about the shootings and that it gave the area a bad name. “It’s a great area,” he said. Another man said he was not surprised by the shootings. “I wasn’t shocked and I’m sorry to have to say that,” he said. “There’s so much violence now across the city, across the whole country; life is cheap as dirt.”

He said drugs problems in the area had been getting out of hand and there had been a lot of small incidents between gangs.

A man who was shopping locally said he was shocked at the ferocity, but not surprised it had happened. “There has been underlying violence in Blanchardstown for a while and the gardaí haven’t got a handle on it,” he said.

———–

GARDAÍ ARE investigating if the shooting of three men in West Dublin yesterday morning may have been linked to dissident republican vigilantes.

Corduff Park, Blanchardstown remained closed last night as gardaí continued to search it for evidence as part of their investigation into the mid-morning shootings.

The victims, all in their 20s, were in the park at around 11.15am yesterday drinking vodka when two men dressed in dark clothes approached them.

As the two got closer, they donned balaclavas and opened fire on the three men with what were thought to have been handguns.

One of the victims was shot in the head and fell to the ground. The other two were also hit, but managed to run to a nearby house and raise the alarm.

Their attackers ran on foot through the park to Edgewood Lawns, a nearby estate.

The three injured men were taken to James Connolly hospital, Blanchardstown and the Mater hospital, in Dublin city centre.

Last night one of the men was in a critical condition and the other two were described as serious. One of the men had served a lengthy jail sentence for the serious assault of a man.

A Garda source said they were exploring the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by dissident republican vigilantes.

Gardaí at Blanchardstown appealed for anyone who was in the area around the time of the attack to contact them.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter also called on locals “who can help the gardaí in any way with even the smallest scrap of information” to make contact.

He said he shared the sense of revulsion at the incident, which occurred in broad daylight.

“This type of incident is revolting to all law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Local residents said it was a miracle the park had not been full of football players.

The teams that normally play there, from Corduff Football Club, are aged four years and up.

This weekend all junior football had been cancelled to allow teams to take part in the Johnny Giles inaugural “Walk of Dreams”, a sponsored walk to raise money for charity.

None of the locals who talked to The Irish Times last night was willing to be identified.

One man said he was sorry to hear about the shootings and that it gave the area a bad name. “It’s a great area,” he said. Another man said he was not surprised by the shootings. “I wasn’t shocked and I’m sorry to have to say that,” he said.

“There’s so much violence now across the city, across the whole country; life is cheap as dirt.”

He said drugs problems in the area had been getting out of hand and there had been a lot of small incidents between gangs.

A man who was shopping locally said he was shocked at the ferocity, but not surprised it had happened. “There has been underlying violence in Blanchardstown for a while and the gardaí haven’t got a handle on it,” he said.

NEWS UPDATE:

THREE young men shot in a public park on Sunday had made enemies all over their local community, making the task of narrowing down suspects a difficult one.

Detectives investigating the incident are probing links to dissident republicans, but a Garda source said this was just one line of enquiry. “The list of enemies these men have is endless.”

Cousins Gary and Christopher Gleeson and their friend, David Morgan, who are all in their mid-20s, were seriously injured when they were attacked by two men with handguns as they sat drinking at playing fields in Corduff Park in west Dublin at 11.15am on Sunday.

David Morgan was shot in the back of the head and collapsed at the scene. He remains in a critical condition in hospital with a bullet lodged at the back of his eye, but after a touch-and-go 24 hours he is now expected to survive.

The Gleeson cousins both received several wounds, but managed to flee into a nearby house to raise the alarm. Their condition was described yesterday as serious but not life-threatening.

Their attackers had walked calmly across the open green towards them and shot them at close range before escaping on foot through an adjoining housing estate.

It is now thought the attack was opportunistic with the gunmen seizing the chance to go after their victims when they spotted them hanging out in the park and saw they were an easy target. They were equipped only with revolvers rather than the automatic weapons more normally used by criminal figures in pre-planned executions although gardaí are treating the shootings as attempted murder.

All three men were known to gardaí as local troublemakers and Christopher Gleeson, 25, was convicted in 2006 of a brutal assault on a teacher who was left in a coma for more than a month after he tried to stop Gleeson and others breaking into his car.

He was described in court at the time as a chronic schizophrenic of borderline intelligence who was a danger to others, and was sentenced to seven years in jail with the last three years suspended.

Door-to-door enquiries were continuing yesterday in Corduff yesterday and the Garda source said there had been a good level of response despite the fear the incident had brought to the area.

Corduff has suffered from crime and anti-social activities, but one local person said the area had quietened down in the last few years and residents were determined not to let it fall back into old ways.

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