Detectives were tonight hunting a lone gunman after a 41-year-old man was killed in a suspected drugs-related shooting – the fifth gun death in Ireland since the start of the year.
Gerard Staunton was shot a number of times as he got into a car outside his Cork home at around 8.15pm last night.
Gardai found the burnt-out getaway vehicle and said the attacker was around 6ft tall, wearing dark clothing and a balaclava when he struck in the quiet residential area of Westlawn in Wilton.
The charred remains of a red Toyota Liteace van with a 92C registration was discovered in the Castlewhite/Waterfall area of the city – believed by officers to have been abandoned by the killer after the shooting.
Superintendent Charlie Barry of Togher Garda Station branded the killing callous and brutal.
Mr Staunton was rushed to nearby Cork University Hospital but was pronounced dead.
A garda source said he was known to drugs detectives and was believed to have had a number of convictions.
Fine Gael councillor John Buttimer said the local community was in shock.
“It’s horrific. There’s no regard for the safety of others and it just shows how cheaply these people value human life,” he said.
“What would concern us here is if it represents an escalation in violent behaviour of the gangs in Cork. We don’t want this to turn into a tit-for-tat situation.”
The Labour Party claimed Fianna Fáil have lost the war on drug lords.
Cork TD Ciaran Lynch said the latest murder was the direct result of the Government’s failure to eliminate drug and gun crime.
“If previous cases are anything to go by, the perpetrator of this callous murder is unlikely to be brought to justice,” Mr Lynch said.
“Since 1997 successive Fianna Fáil-led governments have been telling us that they would put gangs out of business, but all the evidence shows they are failing in this regard,” he added.
The scene at Westlawn remained sealed off for technical examinations.
Detectives in Cork are appealing for any witnesses to contact Togher Garda Station.
The shooting brings the gun death toll for the year to five after a series of killings in Dublin.
Noel Deans was shot dead in a cul-de-sac on the Ferrycarrig Road in Coolock, north Dublin, last weekend.
Earlier in the month Paddy Mooney, 58, and Brendan Molyneaux, in his mid-40s, were gunned down in a flats complex close to the city centre, a day after the body of 29-year-old John Paul Joyce, a major drug-trafficking figure, was found shot dead in a ditch behind Dublin Airport.
Read more: http://breakingnews.ie/archives/201...-callous-and-brutal-442906.html#ixzz0dS1wmO6P
21/01/2010 - 01/21/2010
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