The face of another innocent victim of Dublin gangland
This is the face of the innocent homeless man gunned down in Sheriff Street, Dublin in at noon yesterday.
Martin O’Rourke, 25, was shot twice in the face outside a creche – where children were soon to be let out to play at lunchtime.
Homeless charity campaigner Father Peter McVerry told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 Martin was a “harmless lovable young fellow”.
The family of the father-of-three have appealed for privacy as they come to terms with the terrible loss of their father, son and loved-one.
Fr McVerry said he knew Martin “very well”.
Martin had a drug problem, which he was trying to address. He was trying to become drug free. A couple of years ago, he became drug-free. I brought him down to I brought him to a drug treatment centre in an effort to get drug free in Athlone but unfortunately he relapsed back into drug use.
Father McVerry said the shooting was a “total tragedy for him, his family and his friends”.
“It’s not about money, it’s not about territory and there doesn’t seem to be anyway of stopping it.”
These gangs aren’t going to stop because one or two of their members get arrested. Yes, the gardai presence is a help but you can’t have gardai on every street corner, he said.
The community is in shock and angered since the attack. Ireland Today was told that Martin had been standing in a group of people when the gunman on a push bike came up to the crowd and shot him.
The source also revealed that a member of the Hutch gang normally stood on that section of the street. This is the man that was believed to be the target.
However, the source added that the man had not been seen in the area for some time.
A woman phoned the 4fm Niall Boylan radio show yesterday claiming she knew the identity of the gunman.
The Irish Star reported that it was believed the homeless man was killed because he was wearing a similar jacket to the one the intended target owned.
Gardai are appealing for the public to come forward and tell anything they know about the case. Officers in Store Street are appealing for witnesses and in particular anyone who may have seen a lone male with a strong build, dressed in dark clothing, leaving the area on a bicycle in the direction of Seville Place and the Guild Street junction with Sherriff Street.
He abandoned the bicycle at the end of Sheriff Street and left on foot.
Superintendent Kevin Gralton at Store Street said: “I would ask that anybody that witnessed this shooting today to call us.
“I would also ask that anybody that saw a male on a black pedal cycle on Sheriff Street Lower at approximately 12.25pm, and who abandoned the pedal cycle on Sheriff Street lower at the junction of Seville Place and Guild Street and then left on foot to make contact with us here at Store St on 01 6668000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.”
Gardaí believe they have found the gun used to shoot the dad-of-three, who was shot in the head.
Mr O’Rourke is of no fixed address and had been living in a shelter. He leaves behind his girlfriend and three children.
The Irish Mirror reported that he had convictions for minor offences, such as drugs, theft and burglary but he was not believed to be involved in organised crime in any way.
The Sheriff Street area is not only a community, where mostly working class families live, it is also an area close to the IFSC, where bankers and other business people reside.
And this is not the first shooting to happen outside the creche on Sheriff Street. Another took place in recent years.