Three quizzed over latest gang killing
Toddler caught up in shooting escapes injury
By Fiach Kelly
Monday March 16 2009
GARDAI were last night continuing to quiz three men in connection with the shooting of a man in the latest gangland-style killing in Dublin.
Seamus O'Byrne (27) was shot dead outside the home he was living in with his girlfriend, 26-year-old Sharon Rattigan, on Friday night.
And it was confirmed last night that a one-and-half-year-old child was at the scene of the horrific shooting, as first revealed in the Irish Independent.
The couple lived the house in Tymon North Park in Tallaght with their two children, Jodie (6) and one-and-a-half-month-old Rickie -- who was there when his father was shot dead but miraculously escaped injury. The family were leaving the house at the time and it is understood that they believe the gunman came out of nowhere.
Mr O'Byrne's family were too upset to talk yesterday but released a statement saying they did "not accept" reports that their son was involved in gangland criminality.
Mr O'Byrne had been described as second in command of one of the Crumlin-Drimnagh gangs, whose deadly feud has so far claimed 13 lives.
"The parents and family of the late Seamus O'Byrne are broken-hearted by the tragedy," the statement said. "Terrible things have been said about Seamus that we do not accept. The family beg to be left in peace in their sorrow."
The three men who were still being questioned last night were arrested in Crumlin only hours after the shooting and are being detained at Tallaght and Rathfarnham garda stations. One of the men is described as being in his late teens and the others are in their mid-20s.
Mr O'Byrne was shot three times in the back outside the house in the residential cul-de-sac and Ms Rattigan was shot in the leg. It is understood that Ms Rattigan, who has since left hospital and is now with her boyfriend's family, fought with her boyfriend's killer before he managed to escape.
Locals said that Ms Rattigan had been hit with a pistol.
Gardai were continuing to examine the scene of the shooting last night and had the house -- number three Tymon North Park -- a silver Seat car in the driveway and a black Saab outside cordoned off.
Appeals have been made to members of the public for help in locating two suspects and two vehicles which are suspected of being involved in the killing. Gardai say that the gunman was spotted running from the scene in the direction of Tymon North Gardens before he entered a car, which sped away.
The car is being described as a silver, 2000 registered, silver Nissan Primera and it was seen in the nearby Castlelawn Estate a short time later.
Another car, a sky-blue Volkswagen Passat, with a 2006 Wicklow registration, was also seen in Tymon North Gardens at the time of the shooting.
The gunman is described as being 25 to 30 years of age, about 5' 9'' tall with dark hair. He was dressed in black and was wearing a hood. The other man is believed to be in his mid to late 30s, 5' 8''/5' 9'' tall with a strong build and dark, tight cut hair.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact gardai at Tallaght on 01 6666056 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
- Fiach Kelly