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Probe continues Gang behind shooting of innocent mechanic Tommy McDonnell 'must have been off their heads'

Detectives are continuing to hunt the bungling hit team who accidentally set themselves on fire twice while trying to burn out separate getaway cars.

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CCTV shows getaway car being burned out - one masked man caught up in the blaze

CCTV shows getaway car being burned out - one masked man caught up in the blaze

CCTV shows getaway car being burned out - one masked man caught up in the blaze

AN innocent man shot several times as part of a botched murder bid remained in hospital on a ventilator last night.

Mechanic Tommy McDonnell was struck in the neck and chest after being attacked in his rented garage in Tallaght on Friday afternoon.

Gardaí believe the 58-year-old has no involvement in criminality but suspect he was mistakenly targeted because a man known to him owes a major debt.

Detectives are continuing to hunt the bungling hit team who accidentally set themselves on fire twice while trying to burn out separate getaway cars.

Sources say the hit team, described as being aged in their late 20s, may have links to the south-west Dublin area after one of the last getaway vehicles used was discovered in Ballyfermot.

Investigators are hopeful of recovering significant DNA evidence after the second vehicle failed to fully burn while one of the men may have left fingerprints on a car he mistakenly thought was another getaway vehicle during his escape.

It's understood Mr McDonnell remains on a ventilator in Tallaght hospital, where gardaí have been keeping a 24/7 presence, but that he is expected to survive his injuries.

A source told the Herald: "This individual may remain on a ventilator for a number of days but thankfully he will survive what is being treated as a murder attempt.

"He is an innocent party and may have been mistakenly shot because a man known to him owes a significant debt to criminals."

Gardaí have been appealing for information in relation to the shooting and on Saturday specifically asked for "anyone who knows of any person who sustained unexplained burn injuries in the past 24 hours to inform investigating gardaí".

Mr McDonnell suffered serious injuries when he was shot at 12.10pm on Friday afternoon at a residence in Cookstown Road in Tallaght, Dublin 24.

Sources have previously said of the gun attack: "We have rarely if ever seen such a chain of complete incompetence linked to a planned assassination.

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Tommy McDonnell

Tommy McDonnell

Tommy McDonnell

"It would be laughable if it was not so serious - these fellas must have been off their heads".

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Shortly after the initial shooting in Tallaght, members of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) were called to nearby location in Kilcarrig Close where a small dark van had been set alight.

A firearm was also found in the vehicle, which is suspected to have been used to flee from the scene in Cookstown.

Gardaí received reports that a man who set fire to the van also accidentally set himself alight at this location and there were also reports of two masked men fleeing the scene.

These suspects are then believed to have driven together in a black hatchback car from Tallaght to Rathcoole where it arrived at the Rathmill Glen estate at around 12.30pm.

In footage widely shared on social media, the passenger in the car makes his escape to another vehicle.

Meanwhile, in his disoriented state, the driver of the dark car sets fire to the getaway vehicle and in the explosion that ensues, he sets himself alight.

After the firebomb, the suspect then runs to a dark car which he mistakenly thought was another getaway car before hopping into the correct vehicle - the third car used in the crime.

Both men fled in a small, silver hatchback car which gardaí believe may have been parked in the estate for up to 24 hours before the attempted hit in Tallaght.

There have as yet been no arrests and gardaí have appointed a senior investigating officer to lead the investigation.

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