Gun attack | 

Suspect (19) in Tallaght Garda car shooting allegedly linked to N7 crash victims

Sources said the suspect was also a close associate of Karl Freeman (26) and Graham Taylor (31)

Gardaí in Tallaght were shot at while in a marked garda squad car.

Robin Schiller

The teen suspected of shooting at unarmed gardaí in south Dublin over the weekend was closely associated with two men killed in a city crash earlier this month.

Detectives are continuing to investigate a gun being fired at a marked Garda patrol vehicle in Tallaght in the early hours of Saturday morning.

While no arrests have been made, gardaí have identified a 19-year-old as the chief suspect for the shooting.

The teenager has been involved in a local dispute with other criminals in Tallaght which has led to extra Garda patrols being deployed to the area.

Sources said the suspect was also a close associate of Karl Freeman (26) and Graham Taylor (31), who died after their vehicle smashed into a truck on the N7 earlier this month.

Both men were considered active burglars and were killed along with Dean Maguire (29) when their BMW was driven the wrong way down the motorway after coming to the attention of gardaí.

A source said: "He is only young but has connections to a number of criminals in the area.

"This guy is regularly coming to Garda attention, including earlier that night before the shooting.

"He is also being sought over other less serious matters, but discharging live rounds at unarmed officers is a major escalation."

It is understood that gardaí were carrying out a protection post in Rossfield at around 2.30am when they were notified of an armed gang nearby.

At least three men were present, armed with a gun and a baseball bat.

When the gardaí went to investigate, shots were fired at them with one bullet hitting the bonnet of the vehicle.

The three men then fled the scene. While the gardaí were not physically injured, they are understood to be shaken from the incident.

Detectives are continuing to probe the background of the gun attack and have been carrying out extra patrols in the area due to an ongoing feud between a number of crime groups.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said the gun attack highlights the danger gardaí face while doing their jobs.

"News of incidents such as this remind us just how dangerous and unpredictable policing can be.

"We acknowledge the courage and professionalism of the members involved and wish them well after such a traumatic incident," a GRA spokesman said.

Gardaí in Tallaght are continuing to investigate the incident.

A Garda spokesman said: "No arrests have been made in connection with this incident. Investigations ongoing.

"Gardaí in Tallaght are appealing to anyone who has any information or footage (including dash cam) to come forward to them.

"Anyone with information can contact Tallaght garda station at 01 666 6000, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station."

Today's Headlines

More Irish Crime

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