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10-years-for punter who brought gun to pub and shot bouncer

Sally Noggin Pub
Sally Noggin Pub

A man has been jailed for ten years for shooting a bouncer and firing a gun into a crowd of people in a south Dublin pub.

Robert aka Desmond O’Toole (46) went home and got the gun after getting into a row with a group of males. He returned and fired a shot into the group but missed. He later tried to shoot one of the group outside the pub but missed again and hit the bouncer in the chest.

The bouncer required two operations and had to have a portion of his rib removed to extract the bullet. He also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

O’Toole of McIntosh Park, Dun Laoghaire pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a gun with intent to endanger life, assault causing harm and possession of two rounds of .22 calibre ammunition at the Sallynoggin Inn, Sallynoggin on June 9, 2014.

Judge Martin Nolan called it a bizarre incident and said O’Toole’s actions were “incredibly serious”.

“It seems he had an intent to harm. There was a huge degree of recklessness. I must impose on him what could be termed a very, very severe sentence.”

Detective Garda Dan Tracey told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that CCTV showed O’Toole drinking in the pub throughout the day. The court heard he had a row with a group of men before leaving and returning shortly afterwards.

He drank his pint before standing up, taking out the gun and pointing it at a group of four or five people. He then fired a .22 bullet which was later found embedded in the wall at a height of about one metre.

O’Toole walked towards the door and was followed out by the security guard who had heard a loud bang but didn’t realise a shot had been fired. The guard noticed the gun and O’Toole said to him “walk away, don’t even think about it.”

O’Toole walked across the car park and an unidentified male followed him. There was an exchange of words and O’Toole again fired. The bullet went over the male’s shoulder and hit the guard who was about 30 feet away.

O’Toole was arrested at home two days later. He told gardaí where he dumped the gun but it was never found. Det Gda Tracey said he also claimed to be “a member of a certain political organisation” and said that he wouldn’t be making any statement.

He was interviewed ten times but made no admissions. He later entered a guilty plea and wrote a letter saying he was sorry.

The detective agreed with defence counsel Mícheál O’ Higgins SC, that O’Toole “comes across as something of an eejit.”

Counsel said that O’Toole is a carer for his blind mother and is deeply remorseful for his actions.