NewsCrime Desk

Man fatally ‘stabbed’ after being chased from bonfire was ‘known criminal’

Robert Ellis and Lee McDonald
Robert Ellis and Lee McDonald

The man who was killed following an assault in Clondalkin, west Dublin, in the early hours of this morning has been named locally as Robert Ellis.

Ellis (24) and his girlfriend Sarah Hardiman (22) were injured when a gunman opened fire on them outside a house in Grange View estate in Clondalkin, last year.

A hitman fired five shots from a handgun in the attack, hitting Sarah in the arm and Ellis in the stomach. 

Ellis, who has dozens of convictions, was believed to be the intended target of the attack, having recently been officially warned by gardai there was a threat to his life.

Gardai believe the pair were lucky that the would-be assassin used a low-calibre handgun.

Ellis has close links to notorious criminal Lee McDonnell, who went on the run in December after he escaped from a prison van which had stopped for food following a prison visit.

Robert Ellis (left) pictured with armed robber Lee McDonnell

McDonnell, who is serving a 10-year sentence for a number of violent crimes, including armed robbery, was recaptured in Ronanstown a month later.

Early this morning Ellis was chased by a number of people across the Neilstown Road, into Liscarne Gardens where he was then fatally injured.

Local sources say the victim banged furiously on the door of the house while losing blood from an apparent stabbing.

It is also reported Ellis ran through the house while being pursued and died in the back garden of the property.

The front door of the house remained slightly open this morning behind the garda tape that sealed off the scene pending a forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.

It is understood that the victim did not live at the house where he sought help.

A garda forensic tent was erected over his body in the back garden, and Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Michael Curtis carried out a preliminary examination at the scene.

It is understood that Ellis was previously a witness to a murder that happened in Ballyfermot in 2011.

Ellis has almost 40 prior convictions to his name including a seven-year sentence in 2009 for drug offences, the final four of which were suspended.