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Fury as man arrested over gun attack appointed football manager

Andrew Noonan
Andrew Noonan

THE dad of an innocent postman shot in the head has said he is disgusted the Leinster Senior League have appointed a man arrested for the gun attack to manage their representative football team.

Gun victim Robert Delany has been in a condition described as a “living death” by his father since hired hitman Daniel Gaynor tried to murder him at his home in Tallaght on 22 October, 2008.

Dissident-linked gunman Gaynor, from Finglas in north Dublin, was subsequently shot dead by Ballyfermot hitman Keith Wilson.

Following a lengthy Garda investigation, a number of other people were arrested in connection with the gun attack on Robert, including Tallaght man Andrew Noonan and his ex-Provo father John Noonan.

Both men were later released and were never charged with any offence in connection with the incident.

Andrew Noonan was subsequently appointed as the manager of the Leinster Senior League (LSL) side Bluebell United, which lead to protests by Robert’s family at the club’s matches.

Noonan has a previous conviction for a firearms offence.

Robert’s father Terry Delany this week told of his disappointment after learning Noonan has now been made manager of the LSL representative Team.

The team competes in an interprovincial tournament against representative teams from Ulster, Connacht and Munster leagues and sometimes against foreign teams.

Terry said how the pain has not got any easier for the family in the years since the shooting.

“This might have lapsed in other people’s memories, but it’s very raw for us. This is an ongoing investigation. If you get somebody who is arrested twice in an ongoing investigation who is leading out the league team it sends a message.

“Robert’s condition hasn’t changed and nor will it. There’s no hope. We try and get on with it but it doesn’t get easier because the condition he’s in is called the living death.

“You’re alive but to all intents and purposes you’re dead. It’s very, very difficult. “

Terry wrote a letter to the LSL earlier this month to express his “disappointment and dismay” at Noonan’s appointment. In the letter he said: “The Justice for Robert Delany Campaign is supported by a cross-section of politicians, trade unions and community groups… I would ask you to visit our website which contains full details of the attack and the Garda investigation.

For the avoidance of doubt, the investigation is ongoing and Mr Noonan and his associates have been arrested by gardaí on two separate occasions as part of the investigation.

“The Justice for Robert Delany Campaign is now requesting that the Leinster Senior League rescind its decision to appoint Mr Noonan as manager.” Terry has also written to FAI chairman John Delaney over the matter.

A spokesman for the LSL said they could not comment, but confirmed they are looking into the matter.

The investigation into Robert’s shooting remains ongoing. Gardaí believe Daniel Gaynor was hired to shoot innocent Robert because he was involved in a minor row in a pub with an associate of the Noonans.