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Gun attack Family of shooting victim Sinead Connolly say she is recovering despite critical injuries

Sinead’s family released a statement this week saying she is not a republican activist and the shooting had no link to her brother Sean Connolly.


Sinead Connolly

Sinead Connolly

Sinead Connolly

THE family of shooting victim Sinead Connolly say the incident was linked to a long-running local dispute and they don’t want any revenge attacks.

The young mother (30) was seriously injured in gun attack in her flat in Bluebell, south Dublin, last Saturday.

She is a sister of dissident republican Sean Connolly who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of veteran criminal Eamon Kelly in Killester in 2012.

Sinead’s family released a statement this week saying she is not a republican activist and the shooting had no link to her brother Sean.

“On Saturday March 6, our daughter and sister, Sinead, was critically injured in a gun attack in her home.

“She is a single mum and was with her daughter when the attack took place. She was shot as she sat on her settee. Friends of her partner were also in the apartment at the time.

“One of them dragged the daughter out of view of the attacker while another immediately applied emergency first aid after the gunman had left.

"His prompt actions saved her life and gave her a fighting chance in hospital where, despite sustaining injuries that were critical, she is now recovering. We are eternally grateful.”

They said the shooting wasn’t linked to an internal IRA feud.

“The only people in the apartment at the time were Sinead, her daughter, and her partner’s friends.

"Whatever political allegiances the friends had was not a factor in the attack.”

The family said the attack was “rooted in a long-standing local dispute”.

“Sinead was shot by a person known to her. Despite press reports there is no link between it and Sean’s imprisonment.”

Gardai have yet to arrest the gunman.


 Sinead’s brother, Sean Connolly, is an IRA killer

Sinead’s brother, Sean Connolly, is an IRA killer

Sinead’s brother, Sean Connolly, is an IRA killer

They are currently waiting for medical clearance to speak to a man who they suspect may have accidentally shot himself during the incident at Sinead’s flat.

In their statement Sinead’s family say Sean Connolly has asked that there be no retaliation for the shooting.

“Sean has called for calm and for no one, no matter how aggrieved they might feel, to even think about engaging in any sort of tit for tat.

"He is adamant that what happened to Sinead be visited on no other family.

"He insists that after many years of reflection he has come to the realisation that violence has no place in society and can never be a way to settle grievances or differences.

“Sinead is a single parent, not a republican activist of any hue.

"Far from being the result of an IRA dispute the backdrop to the incident was a local culture of bullying.

“That said, it is not our family’s intention to harbour hostility towards the attacker or his family. We thoroughly discourage the onset of such sentiment.

"The attacker has his issues, created in no small part by the conditions that dictate life in an under-resourced and deprived community scourged by a significant drug problem.

“There are many young people growing up in communities where drugs and deprivation seem as natural as the dole queue.

"Let what happened to our sister and daughter, Sinead, be a salutary lesson to our youth. Drugs offer no escape, violence offers no solution.

“Finally, we would like to thank the first responders from An Garda Siochana and the Health Service for their prompt assistance.

"We also are grateful to friends and neighbours of Sinead who have flooded us with messages of support and well wishes.”

Sean Connolly, who at the time was a member of the New IRA, is currently serving life for the murder of Eamon Kelly in December 2012.

The killing came two months after New IRA gang boss Alan Ryan was shot dead in north Dublin by north Dublin criminals and it is believed Kelly was shot by dissident as a show of strength following Ryan’s murder as he was seen as an easy target.

Connolly was placed in protective custody in Portlaoise Prison after he pleaded guilty to the murder.

There were suggestions at the time that Connolly pleaded guilty as he did not want statements he made to gardai following his arrest being read out in court.

He was then placed in protective custody in prison amid suggestions fellow republicans suspected Connolly of being an informer.

However, he convinced his comrades he wasn’t an informer and was allowed back on the republican wing of the prison.

He was kicked off the republican wing once again in 2018 after a visitor scheduled to visit him in Portlaoise was caught trying to bring drugs into the prison. The visitor was a chronic drug user known to Sean.

At the time the New IRA issued a statement saying: “The Irish Republican Army have instructed its volunteers in Portlaoise Gaol to eject an individual from its landings with immediate effect.

“The Irish Republican Army has a zero tolerance in regard to drugs.”

Connolly said he had not idea the man known to him was planning to bring in drugs and said they were not destined for him.

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