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Bluebell shooting Young mum was shot after row over 'hammer attack' on close relative

Sinead Connolly (30) was shot multiple times as she sat on her sofa in her apartment in Bluebell, south Dublin following an altercation between five men and a neighbour she had come into in conflict with.

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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.

A dispute which led to the shooting of an innocent young mum last weekend was sparked over a hammer attack on her close relative, the Sunday World has learned.

Sinead Connolly (30) was shot multiple times as she sat on her sofa in her apartment in Bluebell, south Dublin following an altercation between five men and a neighbour she had come into in conflict with.

The young woman - the sister of IRA killer Sean Connolly - is still being treated in hospital for "catastrophic" injuries she sustained when a lone gunman entered her apartment last Saturday afternoon. Her seven-year-old daughter witnessed the horrific gun attack and narrowly escaped injury herself.

Sinead remains in intensive care at a Dublin hospital where the man suspected of shooting her is also being treated for apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

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Garda at the scene of the crime.

Garda at the scene of the crime.

Garda at the scene of the crime.

Armed gardaí are monitoring him and he is expected to be arrested as soon as he is discharged from hospital.

It's understood he accidentally shot himself while discharging up to eight bullets from a semi-automatic pistol into her flat where five men and her daughter were also present.

Two of those men, including Sinead's partner - convicted machine gun courier Vincent Kelly - are well known New IRA figures in the north. The pair had travelled with three others from west Belfast to her south side Dublin home in a bid to defuse a long running dispute between her and a man.

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Vincent Kelly

Vincent Kelly

Vincent Kelly

But instead of cooling tensions, their involvement sparked the deadly gun attack.

Sources have claimed dissident republican figures and criminal gangs have now both vowed to exact revenge on those linked to her shooting, going against a heartfelt family statement which last week pleaded for no revenge.

Innocent mother Sinead has no involvement in crime or dissident activity.

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In a statement issued by the Connolly family earlier this week, they said: "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," it stated

A source told the Sunday World that attempts had previously made to quell the long- running dispute between Ms Connolly and her neighbour.

"There was a row between this individual and a close relative of Sinead's and it became violent."

"This led to Sinead's relative being seriously assaulted, attacked with a hammer, something that left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of close to this individual."

The source said Sinead became a target for the man, solely because she was a relative of the other woman.

"That was the starting point and then it became a neighbourly dispute. He lived above her, they'd regularly meet on the steps and it was nasty.

"Just before Christmas, another republican group, in no way connected to the New IRA, was asked to mediate in an attempt to resolve the issues.

"This individual was contacted and his reply to what was being put to him was....he had no problem with the girl, but he can't control it.

"It was advised at that point to drop it....and just to leave it.

"Plus, he was known in the area as having mental health issues and he had been in conflict with other criminals in the area.

"He was involved in crime himself and, in the months prior to Sinead's shooting, a friend of his had been seen in the area with a gun, so he was known to have access to arms."

However, the source said that this was not the end of the dispute and other republican figures became involved. They couldn't let a thing go.

"The conclusion of that mediation was....we aren't going anywhere near him as it's putting her at risk.

Seconds after the shooting, the son of a major dissident republican in the north helped stem the blood flow from her wounds, saving her life.

The gunman escaped aided by a local criminal and another man who drove the pair away from the scene. Those men, sources say, are now under serious threat - despite a statement from the Connolly family stating they discourage any retaliation over the attack.

A well-placed source said: "The family issued a statement that there would be no retribution, but the reality is that there is going to be total and complete retribution, and it will be conducted in the same unprofessional fashion as Saturday.

"Ever since Sean Connolly was booted off the republican wing in Portlaoise and exiled by the IRA, he is protected and supported by major criminal gangs in Dublin.

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Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

"The criminal fraternity are extremely upset that a woman has been targeted because it leaves the doors open to their wives, daughters and sisters and so they are going to take action."

Sinead's partner Vinny Kelly was arrested in Belfast seven years ago after police stopped a taxi he was travelling in and discovered he was carrying a sub machine gun.

Kelly was one of the top targets for the drugs gangs led by mob boss 'Mr Big'.

Mr Big's mob whacked Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, 32, in September 2012. Kelly was one of Ryan's closest associates and a member of the Real IRA colour party at the dissident's funeral.

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Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan

Kelly was one of four men, aged in their 20s and 30s arrested in relation to the shooting incident last week. Two others are from Northern Ireland and one is from Dublin.

The Belfast trio were released on Sunday while Dublin man Paul Mooney, 32, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

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