By Lonan Paul
Wednesday November 18 2009
THE MAN shot dead by a hitman in the Killester bookie shop murder was associated with feuding criminal gangs led by gang boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
Christy Barry (25), who was murdered as he sat in a Donnycarney bookmakers, was known to gangster associates of Thompson on the city's southside and also had a conviction for drugs.
Gardai believe that he was shot dead because of his close association with the Crumlin gang, and the fact that he was an 'easy target', who did not carry a firearm for protection.
The Central Criminal Court heard evidence of Mr Barry's criminal past as one of his killers, Liam Bolger (23), was yesterday found guilty of Mr Barry's murder.
A specific motive for the killing was not divulged in court evidence, but gardai are satisfied it was a tit for tat killing caused by a feud between Thompson's gang and a rival south city outfit.
Bolger, whose own father was shot dead in a killing at a Clanbrassil Street bar in 1995, was the getaway driver who took the assassin from the scene of Mr Barry's murder, at Killester Avenue, on September 13, 2009. He was jailed for life yesterday.
The gunman has not been caught.
There were emotional scenes in the court as Bolger, of Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght, was found guilty of the murder of Christopher Barry.
Mr Barry's relatives reacted angrily and whispered "lies" as the court was told by a detective that Mr Barry had a conviction for a drugs offence, and had been associated with the feud between the Crumlin and Drimnagh criminal gangs.
In her victim impact statement, Mr Barry's mother Ann said: "September 13th was the worst day of our lives. Christy left the house laughing and joking like he always was... there are no words to describe the pain and hardship."
Mr Barry's relatives wept openly as she told the court that she had suffered a massive heart attack when she heard that her son had been shot dead. "He was a beautiful young man who brought laughter and joy... I was so proud to have him for a son. He still lives on in our hearts."
Speaking after the verdict, the victim's mother Ann Barry said she had been unable to attend the trial because she didn't want to look at the accused.
But she said she empathised with Bolger's mother Jean. "God help his mother... she's without her son too. My heart goes out to her," Mrs Barry said.
The murderer's mother and family members broke down as the majority 10-2 verdict was read out, following almost seven hours of deliberations over two days, by the jury of six men and six women.
The accused, a father of one and a plasterer by trade, had denied the murder at Byrne's bookmakers, Killester Avenue in Donnycarny.
Christopher Barry's murder was described in court as a chillingly efficient assassination. Counsel for the prosecution, Mr Paddy McCarthy, said that while Bolger was not the actual assassin, he shared equal responsibility for the murder, and the case was one of joint enterprise.
"The gunman is not before the court... Liam Bolger is charged with the murder because he was part and parcel of everything that occurred... there was a murder and it was carried out because Liam Bolger and the gunman agreed to participate," Mr McCarthy said.
During the trial, the jury was also shown CCTV footage of the gunman shooting Mr Barry inside the bookmakers. Customers fled the shop as the man, wearing a motorcycle helmet, entered the bookies with a gun pointed at Mr Barry, who was seated in the corner.
Mr Barry tried to run, but the gunman pursued him into the corner of the shop, shooting him nine times in six seconds.
The gunman left the bookies on a motorbike, which he then set fire to on La Vista Avenue, just around the corner from the scene of the shooting.
He was then seen by a witness sprinting down the road, before jumping into a waiting white Renault van, driven by Bolger.