24-year-old father shot in head got between target and hit man outside Sheriff Street pub.RollingNews.ie

A 24-year-old man was shot and killed in Dublin’s city center in the ongoing feud between crime bosses.

Martin O’Rourke, was shot outside Noctor’s pub, on Sheriff Street, close to Dublin’s Dockland, in a case of mistaken identity. The intended target was leaving the pub as O’Rourke happened to be passing. Both the target and O’Rourke attempted to flee the in the direction of Spencer Dock. BreakingNews reported that O’Rourke ended up stuck between the gunman and his target.

The shooting took place on Thursday (April 14) at 12:20pm, on Dublin’s Sheriff Street. The gunman escaped on a bicycle. He is described as being of a strong build, wearing black clothing and possibly had a scarf over his face.

Police are believed to recovered a gun from a wheelie bin close by. Police reported that six shots were fired at least two hitting the victim.

O’Rourke was taken to the Mater Hospital with severe head injuries where he died.

The victim, who was a father of three, is described as having a “chaotic lifestyle,” blighted by drugs, drink, homelessness and low-level criminality. O’Rourke had an address at George’s Hill, Dublin 7, but was in and out of emergency accommodation and drug-addiction services.

A source said “There is no doubt this hitman went out to kill. Gardai recovered 10 bullet casings at the scene.

“Officers even dug them out of doors. It’s a miracle more weren’t killed or injured. It is such a busy area. You have residents, bankers from the IFSC, all in the area.

“There’s a school, creche and playground all close by. Thank God a young child was not hit in the crossfire.

“The people carrying out these shootings don’t care about human life. They don’t care who they kill. That’s the scary thing about it.”

Police sources have linked Thursday’s murder to the ongoing gangland war between those associated with Gerry “The Monk” Hutch and the Costa del Sol, Spain-based Christy Kinahan. This is the fifth recent murder connected to these criminals. The fourth in the past ten weeks.

An ally of Hutch had been the target of Thursday’s murder. The target had previously served a sentence for a cash transit robbery. He is well known to Irish police.

Police have sealed off the Sheriff Street crime scene and a helicopter has been deployed over central Dublin to aid in the hunt for those responsible.

The current spate of murders in Dublin erupted in February in front of TV cameras during the weigh-in for a European boxing bout, at Regency Hotel, on the Swords Road. Gunmen loyal to Hutch shot David Byrne (33), a known associate of Kinahan. The gunmen wore body armor and fake police uniforms. Their aim was to kill several members of the Kinahan gang at the televised event.

This attack had followed the murder of Hutch’s nephew, Gary, in Spain, by Kinahan’s men, in September 2015. Gary Hutch was chased around his Andalusian apartment before being shot on the villas grounds. Kinahan’s gang believed he had divulged details of a drug shipment to the police and Interpol.

Retaliating for the Regency Hotel attack Kinahan’s gang shot dead Hutch’s brother, Eddie (59) in his home on Poplar Row, North Strand, in February and later a cigarette smuggler, Noel “Mr Kingsize” Duggan, outside his home in Ratoath, County Meath, in March.

Police stationed at the crime scene on Poplar Row, following the murder of Eddie Hutch.

Police stationed at the crime scene on Poplar Row, following the murder of Eddie Hutch.

Independent Councillor Ciaran Perry told BreakingNews not enough is being done to tackle drug crime in the capital.

He said “With all the millions supposedly spent on tackling drugs in working class areas, drug abuse, drug dealing and drug deaths continue.

"It's clear resources - if sufficient resources are being put in - are not being targeted in the right direction. I don’t think the Government have put the necessary resources into tackling the supply and the effects of the supply, with proper rehabilitation."

Fr Peter McVerry, a social activist who works with vulnerable people in the city, described the victim as “harmless, quiet, likeable. He had a drug problem and had tried to address it. He made attempts to overcome them, but relapsed. He was trying to overcome his addictions.”

McVerry told Newstalk’s Breakfast, that the criminals will have no remorse for the murder of O’Rourke.

“The large drug gangs live in a bubble of their own, they are focused on their money and their lifestyle,” the activist said.

“To them, people come in two categories – those who are of use, and those who are of no use or an obstacle, they don’t count to them.

“They have no remorse, no tears will be shed by that gang over the killing of an innocent person.”

He continued “In the long term the government will have to look at the areas these young people come from, deprived areas. They see their future as signing on the dole. Joining one of these gang is a way to achieve the lifestyle they aspire to.

“The young man who committed this crime would have been offered €5,000 or €10,000.”