NewsCrime Desk

IRA issue statement confirming that shooting victim was paramilitary

Michael Barr
Michael Barr

Michael 'Mickey' Barr, who was shot dead in the Sunset House pub in north Dublin city on Monday night, was an IRA member - according to a statement released by the militant group.

The victim of Monday night's shooting in north Dublin city was a member of the IRA, the republican group have confirmed.

Quotes from an IRA statement, obtained by the Irish News, state that Mr Barr was part of the republican faction.

It has been reported that gardai believe that Co Tyrone man Barr - who was shot dead in the Sunset House, Summerhill, in Dublin's north inner city at 9.30pm on Monday - became a target because of his close association with the Regency Hotel gunman nicknamed 'Flat Cap'. They are both from the same county.

It has also been claimed that the Kinahan cartel had received information that Barr had also been involved in sourcing the AK-47s used in the Regency attack from his IRA faction in the North.

Two men, described as skinny and wearing masks, burst into the Sunset House while a driver waited outside.

Barr was shot a number of times in the head and body. The two men fled in an Audi A6 - registration number 04-C-17738 - which was found burned out in Drumcondra.

It is understood that the killers had a "spotter" in the pub who was in contact with the assassination team.

"They are extremely loyal to the cartel and are frankly a ruthless crowd of evil b******s," a source said.

However, the IRA statement labelled Mr Barr as an "IRA volunteer" who "was not involved in the feud whatsoever".

The republican group also stated that firearms used in the Regency Hotel shooting, in which Kinahan cartel member David Byrne was shot dead, "were not IRA weapons".

The statement further goes on to claim that the Irish state was in some way involved in the Sunset shooting.

"We firmly believe there was some sort of state involvement in an effort to draw the IRA in to the feud with criminals in Ireland," the statement read.

Mr Barr had been living in Finglas and Ballymun and had been a major target for the garda Special Detective Unit for the past four years.

He was due to be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court for handling stolen property. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to handling stolen electrical equipment.

The charges were formally dropped today.

In June of last year, Barr and six other men were cleared of IRA membership charges at the Special Criminal Court.