NewsCrime Desk

Face of man tragically killed in botched gangland kill attempt

Martin O'Rourke
Martin O'Rourke

Martin O'Rourke, 24, was the victim of a botched gangland hit on Sheriff Street in Dublin city centre.

Mr O'Rourke, (24), was shot dead yesterday at approximately 12.20pm, close to Noctor's pub on Sheriff Street in Dublin 1.

It's understood that six shots were fired at the man, who was not the intended victim of the shooting.

Gardai believe that north inner-city criminal Keith Murtagh (32) was meant to be the actual target of yesterday's savage fatal shooting but Mr O' Rourke was shot at least twice in the face instead.

Mr O'Rourke was rushed to the nearby Mater Hospital by ambulance at 12.45pm.

He was declared dead yesterday afternoon at the Mater Hospital.

This morning, he was described as a "harmless, lovable young fellow" by homeless charity campaigner Father Peter McVerry. 

He had a history with drugs. Gardai used fingerprint technology to identify him as he was not carrying ID at the time.

Mr O'Rourke had been living in sheltered accommodation for homeless people in the Halston Street area of the capital's northside.

Mr O'Rourke had a partner and a number of children. His family have asked for privacy in the matter.

The victim was known to gardai for burglary and minor offences but was not linked to gangland crime.

It is believed he was in the area to buy drugs at the time.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Father McVerry said that he knew Martin O'Rourke "very well".

"Martin had a drug problem, which he was trying to address. He was trying to become drug free. I brought him to a drug treatment centre in an effort to get drug free in Athlone but unfortunately he relapsed back into drug use."

Father McVerry described the shooting as a "total tragedy for him, his family and his friends".

Investigating gardai have renewed their appeal for witnesses to contact the incident room at Store Street garda station on 01 666 8000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1 800 666 111 or any garda station.