Staff too traumatised to talk following gangland shooting
STAFF at the service station where James ‘Mago’ Gately was shot emerged into the early evening sunshine too upset to talk about the incident.
Just hours before, it was business as usual. In the warm spring sunshine, the Topaz service station was busy with people buying fuel and looking for a bite to eat.
Then Gately drove on to the forecourt in a maroon Ford Mondeo car with Northern Irish registration plates.
He pulled up on the left hand side, away from the fuel pumps. The Dubliner, a key member of the Hutch crime cartel, is a man who knows his life is in danger, so much so that he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Moments later a black Lexus car pulled up. Dozens of people were on or near the forecourt when the would-be assassin opened fire. Bullets shattered the driver’s window and fragmented glass was strewn across the ground.
A witness told RTE’s Liveline: “I was on the road and I heard ‘bang, bang’. “Next thing, I heard ambulances and guards.
Next thing the whole place was covered. People were running everywhere. There were guards everywhere.”
As emergency services rushed to the scene, a nurse tended Gately’s wounds. Dublin Fire Brigade arrived soon after and stabilised his injuries.
Gately’s bloodstained clothing was piled on the ground next to the car, with the bulletproof vest he had been wearing clearly visible.
The service station was cordoned off by gardai.
As reporters and TV camera crews arrived, the cordon was pushed back further as detectives scoured the area. There was an air of fear among people in the area after the shooting.
A young woman who was in the service station shortly before the shooting told the Herald: “These people don’t care who’s around or what time of day it is.
They’ll shoot anyone in their way. Thank God no one else was hurt.”
Staff at the service station were kept inside as garda combed the area for evidence.
When the business reopened, one traumatised member of said he was in no state to answer questions.
Violence had once again been visited on the capital and left ordinary people fearing for their safety.
Conor Feehan and Ian Begley