‘Hammer assault’ behind shooting – SundayWorld.com
An argument that led to the shooting of an innocent young mother last weekend was sparked over a hammer attack on her close relative, Sunday World has learned.
Inead Connolly, 30, has been shot and killed while sitting on her sofa in her apartment in Bluebell, south Dublin after an argument between five men and a neighbor she had conflicted with.
The young woman – the sister of IRA killer Sean Connolly – is still being treated in hospital for “catastrophic” injuries sustained when a lone gunman entered her home last Saturday afternoon. Her seven-year-old daughter witnessed the horrific gun attack and was barely able to evade the injury.
Sinead remains in intensive care at a Dublin hospital, where the man who is suspected of having shot her is also being treated for apparently self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Armed gardaí are monitoring him and he is expected to be arrested as soon as he is released from the hospital.
He is believed to have accidentally shot himself when he fired up to eight bullets from a semi-automatic pistol into their apartment, which was also attended by five men and their daughter.
Two of these men, including Sinead’s partner – convicted machine gun courier Vincent Kelly – are well-known New IRA figures in the north. The couple had traveled with three others from West Belfast to their home in south Dublin to defuse a longstanding argument between themselves and a man.
But instead of cooling tensions, their involvement sparked the deadly gun attack.
Sources have alleged Republican dissidents and criminal gangs have now both vowed to take revenge on those linked to their shooting, in violation of a heartfelt family statement that called for no vengeance last week.
The innocent mother Sinead is not involved in any crime or dissident activities.
A statement from the Connolly family earlier this week said, “Sinead is a single parent and not a Republican activist. The background to the incident was by no means the result of an IRA dispute, but a local bullying culture,” it said
A source told the Sunday World that attempts had previously been made to quell the longstanding argument between Ms. Connolly and her neighbor.
“There was an argument between this person and a close relative of Sinead’s and it got violent.”
“This resulted in Sinead’s relative being severely attacked with a hammer, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many people close to that person.”
The source said Sinead became a target for the man simply because she was a relative of the other woman.
“That was the starting point and then it became a neighborly argument. It lived above her, they met regularly on the steps and it was nasty.
“Just before Christmas, another Republican group, not affiliated with the New IRA in any way, was asked to mediate to resolve the issue.
“This person has been contacted and his response to what he was given was … he had no problem with the girl but he cannot control it.
“At that point it was advised to drop it … and just leave it.
“He was also known in the area to be mentally ill and had conflicts with other criminals in the area.
“He had been involved in crimes himself, and in the months prior to Sinead’s shooting, a friend of his had been seen in the area with a gun which it was known to have had access to.”
However, the source said that did not end the dispute and that other Republican figures became involved. They couldn’t let go of anything.
“The conclusion of this mediation was … we do not go near him as it will endanger them.
Seconds after the shooting, the son of a major republican dissident in the north helped stop the flow of blood from her wounds and save her life.
The shooter escaped with the assistance of a local criminal and another man who drove the couple off the scene. According to sources, these men are now under serious threat, despite a statement by the Connolly family that they will deter any retaliation for the attack.
A well-placed source said, “The family made a statement that there would be no retribution, but the reality is that there will be total and complete retribution and it will be carried out in the same unprofessional manner as on Saturday.”
“Since Sean Connolly was booted from the Republican wing in Portlaoise and exiled by the IRA, he has been protected and supported by major criminal gangs in Dublin.
“The Criminal Brotherhood is extremely upset that a woman has been targeted because she is leaving the doors open to her wives, daughters and sisters and they will take action.”
Sinead’s partner Vinny Kelly was arrested in Belfast seven years ago after police stopped a taxi he was traveling in and discovered he was carrying a machine gun.
Kelly was one of the main targets for the drug gangs led by mob boss ‘Mr Big’.
Mr Big’s mob beat 32-year-old Real IRA boss Alan Ryan in September 2012. Kelly was one of Ryan’s closest associates and a member of the Real IRA Color Party at the dissident’s funeral.
Kelly was one of four men between the ages of 20 and 30 arrested in connection with the shooting incident last week. Two more are from Northern Ireland and one from Dublin.
The Belfast trio were released on Sunday while Dublin-born Paul Mooney, 32, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.