Andrea McDonagh was walking her dogs along the Royal Canal in Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin last Friday when she was startled by two loud gunshots, followed by three more.
The 40-year-old mother of two had been walking for about fifteen minutes along the track from the train station in Clonsilla toward Dunboyne when she spotted the gunman in a nearby field.
He was lying on his stomach, holding a wood-colored hunting rifle that contained expensive extra parts such as a silencer, a bipod for balance and a manufactured rifle scope.
“I got an awful fright to be honest,” she told the Irish Independent. “The gun was huge. It even had a silencer on it.
“My father was a hunter so I know of know what a hunting gun is like, but this was different,” she said. “It looked like an army gun.”
McDonagh did not call the police because she knew the man was hunting; however she was concerned that such a weapon was being used so close to the public.
“When I think of people hunting, I expect them to be in a designated area or a certain place. I didn’t realize they could just go into a field near a path.
“There were other people out walking and some were fishing,” she added. “I don’t know why he wasn’t further away. This gun could have done serious damage.”
The range of this weapon is about 1,300 feet, though the bullet could travel further until impact.
The identity of the hunter, and whether or not he had a gun license or rights to the land he was firing on, is unknown.