Concerns for children as gangland spirals after two more killings

Concern is rising for the innocent, especially children, who are living in Dublin neighbourhoods where a gangland war is breaking out – after two more murders last night.

Two men were killed in the capital – one named by the Irish Independent as Michael ‘Micky’ Barr, who the paper reports was a dissident Republican who may have been supplying weapons to the Hutch gang in the city.

The 34-year-old was shot in the Sunset House pub on Summerhill Parade at around 9.30 pm.

The newspaper reports that young mothers and a special needs man were among the witnesses.

A second man Tom Farnan, 37, was fatally wounded after he answered his front door on Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin, Dublin at around 11.45 pm.

His sister Jenny Farnan told Independent.ie he was not connected with crime.

“Waking up and I am still living the nightmare how can this life be so cruel,” she told the newspaper.

“Words can’t describe how much I’m going to miss him. My heart is broken I still can’t believe it.”

Concerns are being heard about children and their families living in areas of Dublin where shootings have taken place and it seems that the innocents are the last thing on the minds of the gangs carrying out murders.

Psychologist Dr Alison Rooney, from Malahide, told Ireland Today there are very real reasons why the country should be anxious for children living in these environments.

“In a traumatic situation, the child can feel very helpless and threatened.  He or she may fear a recurrence of the traumatic event and stay on the ‘lookout.’ for it.

Dr Alison Rooney
Dr Alison Rooney

“Subsequently, the child responds very strongly to anything that even vaguely resembles the traumatic situation.

“A child who has witnessed a shooting will often be very quick to react with high anxiety and fear to a loud, unexpected noise.  

“Children exposed to trauma can experience a wide range of reactions, including depression, anxiety, problems in peer relations, behavioural problems and academic difficulties.”

Gardai are investigating both shootings but it is not believed they are linked, which makes the double killing all the more shocking.

The two killings come less than two weeks after homeless father, Martin O’Rourke, 24, was murdered by a lone gunman on a bicycle at lunch time just outside a creche on Sheriff Street.

Children were very close by to that murder scene in the creche and another shooting had taken place outside that same facility only a few years ago.

One relative of a child who is living in that area told Ireland Today:  “Children who were around when that first shooting happened weren’t the same by the time the second happened.

sheriff street victim

“They are little nervous wrecks and alarmed by noises so this really is getting out of hand. No one is thinking about the innocent kids living in these areas.  The Gardai have to stop this from getting any worse than it already is.”

That murder – a case of mistaken identity – was planned as part of a gang war that has been escalating for months and culminated in the February Regency hotel murder in the city when assassins dressed as SWAT police targeted a boxing weigh in killing gang member 35-year-old David Byrne.

The first murder last night is being linked to the spiralling conflict caused by the hotel shooting reportedly between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs.

Dr Rooney added that after children have witnessed such trauma: “Their sense of safety is hugely undermined by the traumatic event and they may become clingy to parents, reluctant to separate and refuse to go to crèche or school, all of which is very disruptive and distressing for the child and family.  They may have nightmares and sometimes re-enact the traumatic experience, perhaps even in play activities.”

It is not known if the Government plan to intervene to protect families living in these areas.

But one thing seems for sure – that it is only an amount of time before another innocent gets caught in the crossfire and children are forced to live in neighbourhoods where violence and even killings are taking place. 

Gardai said two men entered the Sunset House pub in Summerhill, Dublin, last night shortly after 9.30 pm and shot Barr, who is reported as being from Strabane, Co Tyrone.

It is believed he was working at the bar when he was killed.  Barr was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three men, believed to have been involved in the killing, left Walsh Road in the area, in a silver saloon car in the direction of Home Farm Road in the city.

A silver coloured Audi A6 with the registration 04 C was later found on Walsh Road in Drumcondra, Dublin, and was seized for a technical examination by officers.

Gardai are looking for witnesses, particularly those who were in the Sunset House pub from 9 pm onwards, who may have seen a silver Audi A6 with the 04 C reg before the killing or before it was located on Walsh Road.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to both shootings or anyone who has information, to contact local garda stations in both areas or the Garda Confidential Line:  1800 666 111.

For the Sunset House shooting call Mountjoy Garda Station:  01 666 8600.

For the Clondalkin shooting all:  01 666 7600.

 

 

 

 

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