| 7.2°C Dublin

gun attack Man charged with attempted murder of young mother who was shot in front of daughter (7)

Joseph Byrne (32) was seen holding a handgun outside Sinead Connolly’s Dublin home before another man took the gun and they forced their way in, it is alleged.

Close

Innocent Sinead Connolly was shot twice.

Innocent Sinead Connolly was shot twice.

Innocent Sinead Connolly was shot twice.

A MAN has been accused of attempting to murder a young mother who suffered catastrophic injuries when she was shot in front of her seven-year-old daughter.

Joseph Byrne (32) was seen holding a handgun outside Sinead Connolly’s Dublin home before another man took the gun and they forced their way in, it is alleged.

She was shot through her barricaded kitchen door and remains in a critical condition in hospital, Dublin District Court heard.

Judge Treasa Kelly refused to grant Mr Byrne bail and remanded him in custody.

He is the second person to be charged over the shooting at Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell on March 6. Another man accused of picking up the handgun and disposing of it was refused bail last week.

Close

Sinead Connolly tried to help relative and was targetted.

Sinead Connolly tried to help relative and was targetted.

Sinead Connolly tried to help relative and was targetted.

Mr Byrne, with an address at La Touche Road, Bluebell is charged with attempting to murder Ms Connolly and possession of a G9A Grand Power semi automatic handgun with intent to enable another person to endanger life.

Objecting to bail, Det Gda Colm Reynolds said Ms Connolly sustained multiple gunshot wounds, suffered catastrophic injuries and remained in a critical condition in intensive care.

A witness who was in her home at the time of the shooting told gardai in a statement he heard “two or three cracks, gunshots.”

Someone shouted “that is a f**king gun”. They slammed the door shut and barricaded it with their body weight. Ms Connolly’s little girl was sitting on a counter and she was put under the table.

“I think a shot was fired through the kitchen door,” the witness stated.

On CCTV, Det Gda Reynolds alleged, Mr Byrne is seen arriving at the stairwell steps at Bernard Curtis House brandishing a black handgun, “which he is pointing forward.”

He appears to enter a flat adjacent to Ms Connolly's and momentarily, re-appears with a second man “who is now carrying the gun.”

They run to Ms Connolly’s home and the second man appears to kick in the door, Det Gda Reynolds said.

The man enters, followed immediately by Mr Byrne, Det Gda Reynolds said.

When they re-appear momentarily, Mr Byrne is seen helping the other man, who is nursing an injury, down the steps.

A third man had appeared at the top of the stairwell while they were in Ms Connolly’s flat. The gun is placed on the steps and this third man is seen picking it up, the court heard.

More CCTV footage captures Mr Byrne and the second man making their way down Bluebell Avenue, Det Gda Reynolds continued. Mr Byrne helps the man to a kerbside, where he sits while Mr Byrne goes to his own family home at La Touche Road.

He enters the driveway and reverses his VW Golf out before picking up the second man. The car is seen arriving at St James’s Hospital Emergency Department, where Mr Byrne is seen helping the second man in.

This man, who was shot in the stomach and treated for gunshot injuries, remained in hospital awaiting questioning, Det Gda Reynolds said.

He told Judge Kelly phones were also seized that he alleged linked Mr Byrne and the second man, and “tie him into the shooting.”

Mr Byrne “declined to engage” in the interview process, offering no comment to questions.

He made no reply to the charges after caution last night.

The court heard the loaded gun was recovered from bins at Bernard Curtis House.

A doctor’s report stated Ms Connolly had suffered life-threatening bleeding and underwent surgery.

The injuries she suffered seemed “unlikely to be reversible and will change her life from here on,” Det Gda Reynolds said.

Should her condition improve, gardai intended to visit her with a view to interviewing her as a potential witness.

Defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens said she was applying for bail on the weapons charge only as bail cannot be granted in the district court on an attempted murder charge.

The accused was prepared to stay out of Dublin if granted bail, she said. Mr Byrne availed of his right to silence in interview, she said. He was presumed innocent and enjoyed a presumption in favour of bail.

Mr Byrne’s mother was prepared to offer €20,000 to secure her son’s bail.

Judge Kelly refused bail and remanded the accused in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court on March 19.

She granted free legal aid and directed medical attention for the accused after hearing he had epilepsy.

Last week, Paul Mooney (32) was refused bail after being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and acting to impede the garda investigation.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Privacy