Two men were shot dead in front of their children in unrelated murders within 36 hours of each other in the latest spree of gangland crime in Ireland.

Dubliner Declan O'Reilly, 32, was shot up to four times as he walked along South Circular Road near Griffith College with his girlfriend and an 11-year-old boy shortly after 8pm on Monday.

The gunman pulled up alongside the victim in a black car before he opened fire with a handgun.

O’Reilly, who had been previously acquitted of a prison killing, was rushed to nearby St James's Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The car and weapon involved were later discovered burned out a short distance from the crime scene.

The Irish Independent
reports that the traumatized son who witnessed the shooting, will be interviewed by specialist police officers.

"The child is receiving all the help that we can give him, specialist child interviewers will be dealing with him,” Supt Thadie Muldoon told the newspaper.

On Sunday morning shortly before 8:30am, well known criminal Gerard Eglington, 27, was gunned down in front of his partner’s 11-year-old daughter and infant in Portarlington, Co Laois.

The shooting took place in the Kilnacourt Woods estate and the victim was pronounced dead at Tullamore General Hospital.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the murders of the two men showed that, "life has become very cheap indeed."

Justice Minister Alan Shatter described the gangland activity as an "evil menace in our society."

“Yesterday's two barbaric murders starkly illustrate that the evil perpetrators have absolutely no respect for human life,” Shatter said.

“The callousness of their actions shows that the perpetrators lack even a shred of humanity or decency,” he said.

“The gardaí are absolutely determined to do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice,” Mr Shatter said.

“I know from my discussions with the Garda Commissioner that the gardaí will continue to target and bear down heavily on the activities of those involved in gangland crime.

“That is clear from the series of recent operations they have launched against gangs and the many drug seizures that have taken place in recent weeks.”