Daughter of OAP attacked by gang living in fear as shots fired at family
The daughter of a Ballyfermot pensioner who was viciously stabbed by criminals on New Year’s Day has told how she is in fear of her life after the same gang opened fire on her last week.
Lena Tims (47), from Cherry Orchard, south Dublin, was lucky to escape with her life when a gunman linked to a well-known west Dublin gang boss opened fire as she and her husband stood in their garden in broad daylight last Sunday.
The 21-year-old gunman cycled up to their house on Orchard Lawns at 3.20pm and opened fire.
It comes just months after Lena’s 73-year-old innocent mother Bridie Smith was savagely knifed and beaten at her front door by two thugs on New Year’s Day as part of the same dispute.
Last weekend’s shooting has raised tensions in Ballyfermot and Gardaí are on high alert in the area.
Lena and her husband - who, like Lena’s mother Bridie, have no involvment in crime - were in the garden, while her pregnant daughter, along with her 10-year-old nephew and niece, were inside the house when the gunman opened fire.
Speaking to the Sunday World, Lena said: “The bullets were ricocheting, they hit my tree. I was standing at my garden gate and trying to drag my husband in. We were ducking and dodging bullets. I have no doubt it was attempted murder.”
The suspected gunman is also believed to have carried out a petrol bomb attack on a construction worker as part of a separate campaign of intimidation in December.
Minutes before the attack, a well-known gang boss suspected of orchestrating a campaign against Lena’s family was spotted in the area in a car.
“When I saw him I said something was going to happen and 10 minutes later there was a big group at the end of the road,” said Lena.
The gang boss, who cannot be named as he is currently before the courts, has been involved in a feud with two of Lena’s brothers, Andrew and Stephen Smith, who have criminal convictions.
However, he has also used his minions to target and threaten innocent relatives of the brothers, including pensioners, women and children with no involvement in crime.
The attacks intensified after family members gave evidence against two gang members, Daniel Ennis and Dylan Reddington, who fired shots at Bridie’s home back in 2015.
“Every time we’d go to court their associates called us rats. It was horrible,” said Lena.
Andrew had previously sparked trouble in the area when he assaulted grandmother Jenny Lynch in February 2015 in an unrelated incident.
“It was wrong what he did. I was disgusted and fell out with him for months over it,” said Lena.
Despite this, innocent family members have been continually targeted for giving evidence against members of the Ballyfermot gang boss’s crew.
The Ballyfermot gang boss was previously involved in an unrelated feud which claimed four lives in the area a few years ago. Gardaí suspect he was directly involved in at least two of the murders and he has become the main player in the area.
Shortly before Christmas, Lena’s sister’s home was petrol bombed by the gang after she also gave evidence against a gang member. After that there were shots fired at the Ballyfermot gang boss.
On New Year’s Day, Lena’s mother Bridie was viciously stabbed when she answered the door to her home in an attack that sickened the nation.
“Her mind was gone after the attack. They didn’t just stab my mother that morning, they kicked her around the hall,” said Lena.
Gardaí are keeping an open mind on who carried out the recent attack, but Lena is convinced it was ordered by the Ballyfermot gang boss.
“The dogs on the street know who did it. He gives the go ahead for everything,” said Lena.
There have been other attacks on the family in the months since January, but things ramped up in the last week after the gang boss was charged before the courts before being released on bail.
“They went down last Saturday and burnt my father’s car in the old folks. My mother was up there because she’s afraid to come back up to her house.
“My dad is 73 as well and they’re attacking him now – it’s any family member at this stage. People have told us he’s offered the lads an ounce of heroin to slash my face.”
Gardaí carried out raids and arrested a suspect in relation to the attack on Sunday. He was later released while a file is prepared for the DPP. He boasted online about being released from custody.
Lena said she is living in fear, but doesn’t want to move out of the area.
“I won’t be bullied out. Should we all move and let the scum take over? To make this area better you’d just need to take six or seven families out.”