Men shot in pub gun attack were innocent victims

Gardaí believe two young men who were lucky to escape with their lives in a reckless gun attack in a busy pub were innocent, and mistakenly shot.

The youths, aged 19 and 20, were in Oil Can Harry’s pub in Dublin’s south inner city when a gunman came in and carelessly fired into a group of people.

One of the victims had been in the pub “literally only a few minutes” when the shooting happened at around 10pm on Saturday.

“The gunman came in and fired into a group of people in a totally reckless and irresponsible fashion,” said a Garda source.

“We suspect the victims were innocent and that they were not the intended target.”

The young men received gunshot injuries, but gardaí believe that they were fortunate a low velocity weapon was used and not the usual high velocity handguns used in most gangland attacks. If it was a high velocity weapon they could be dead,” said the source.

Gardaí are hoping that CCTV images in the area will help trace the gunman and his accomplice, as well as the getaway driver.

Customers in the pub, which is on Lower Mount St, a quiet, sedate part of the city, were completely shocked by the reckless attack.

Up to seven Garda cars arrived at the scene, which is a short distance from the National Maternity Hospital and Merrion Square, and sealed off the area.

Ambulance crews brought the youths, who are locals, to the nearby St Vincent’s Hospital, where they underwent surgery. Their injuries are not life-threatening.

Gardaí have not so far been able to gather a detailed description of the attackers, other than to say they were two men.

They said the gunmen left the scene in a dark coloured car, believed to have been driven by a third male, and headed in the direction of Ballsbridge.

The scene was being examined by ballistic and forensics experts yesterday.

Gardaí are trying to locate people who were on the premises to talk to them in order to piece together what happened.

The Garda spokesman said they were appealing for witnesses, particularly those who were inside or in the vicinity of the pub or on Lower Mount St, to contact them.

People can contact Pearse St Garda Station on 01 6669000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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