NewsCrime Desk

Lucky escape in feud hit for traveller as gun 'jams'

Charlie Ward at his home
Charlie Ward at his home

A GALWAY traveller who cheated death this week when a gunman tried to murder him as part of a feud said he fears he will be killed before his attacker faces justice.

Well-known bare-knuckle fighter Charlie ‘Boggan’ Ward had just got into a van outside Tuam Leisure Centre around 11.15am last Friday week when he was approached by a gunman.

“I came out of the gym and there was a man wearing a balaclava armed with a shotgun waiting in the bushes for me. He came up to van and tried to shoot,” Ward told the Sunday World.

“I thought I was going to be shot dead. But the guards think the gun jammed. After pointing it at me he put it down towards his waist and was trying to fix it.”

Ward believes he knows his attacker and the incident was linked to a feud which started three years ago, after he had an affair with a woman.

There have been several incidents linked to the feud and Ward’s house was targeted in a gun attack last October.

“When my house was shot there were five kids asleep. The shots were fired just over the kids’ window. There’s bunk beds in that room and I have a 12-year-old and six-year-old in there.”

He said his neighbour’s house was shot the following week and he believes the gunmen mistook it for his house.

Ward said he had a run-in with the man he believes was behind the latest incident last Tuesday week and the man made veiled threats to him. That man moved out of his own home earlier this year when shots were fired through his front window.

That man told the Sunday World he believed associates of Ward were behind that gun attack, but Ward denies this.

“There were no guns on our side. That was nothing to do with us. His kids weren’t in the house when it was shot,” he told us.

Ward said he even travelled to the U.K. for a number of months hoping the feud would die down. 

“It’s very frightening for the kids and very frightening for the wife. I went off to England last year just to let things die down. I came back in June after three months gone. I thought things would have settled down, but it hasn’t.”

He said he is worried now for his children’s safety and does not want to be part of any feud.

“I have five children and one is practically blind. I have other things on my mind with my kids and looking after my young lad than to be arguing and fighting, but this man won’t stop.

“The Gardaí are patrolling the road, but no one has been arrested. Is it going to take me being shot dead before anything is done?”

Both Ward and the man he alleges is behind the attacks have been informed by Gardaí there are threats on their lives.

The other man admitted to the Sunday World he had been involved in “tit-for-tat” incidents, but said he wanted the issue resolved.

There have been previous attempts at mediation, but a deal subsequently fell apart.

Gardaí in Tuam said they are following a number of lines of inquiry into the shooting attempt and are examining CCTV footage.

They appealed for anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Tuam Swimming Pool between 10am and 12 noon last Friday week to contact them. They believe the attacker fled in the direction of Tullinadaly Hill or St Joseph’s Park.