Gardaí fear 'bloody feud' in Limerick after man charged in connection with shooting

By David Raleigh

Gardaí in Limerick have expressed fears that "a bloody feud" will erupt between rival factions following a shooting last Tuesday, in which a man and a juvenile were injured.

Terry Casey, a resident of Clonglong halting site, who was shot "at least once in the stomach and shoulder" in the gun attack at Maple Court, Kennedy Park, remains in hospital where his condition is described by Gardaí as "serious but not life threatening".

A juvenile who had been accompanying Mr Casey sustained an injury to his right hip in the shooting, Gardaí said.

Last night, 23-year old Keith Lillis, of Galvone Road, Kennedy Park, was brought before Limerick District Court and charged in connection with the shooting.

Keith Lillis arriving at court yesterday.

Mr Lillis is charged with possession of a sawn-off shotgun near his home around two hours after the shooting. Gardaí gave evidence that they are satisfied the gun was used in the shooting of Mr Casey.

Evidence was heard that Mr Lillis told Gardaí after his arrest that he had witnessed the gun attack while "having a smoke on a roof" but that he had not been involved.

He has claimed the gun was forced on him by unnamed parties, the court heard.

Detective John Keane gave evidence expressing a fear that the incident will lead to “a bloody feud between two factions with the potential for injury or loss of life”.

Det. Keane told the court Mr Casey, accompanied by a juvenile and another man drove into Maple Court in a gold coloured Suzuki Vitara and “sustained at least one gunshot wound to his stomach and another wound to his left shoulder”.

Detective Keane said Mr Casey and the juvenile fled on foot and presented themselves at University Hospital Limerick for treatment for their injuries.

The Suzuki was found burnt out by Gardaí and has been transported to a garda lock-up for a forensic examination.

Gardaí arrested Mr Lillis about two hours after the shooting. As officers approached him he allegedly dropped "a loaded sawn-off shotgun", Det Keane told the court.

When Gardaí searched him they discovered a live shotgun cartridge, it was also alleged.

"He had it concealed in his clothes," Det. Keane added.

The garda told the court the gun was loaded with two cartridges and was "ready for use".

Objecting to bail under Section Two of the Bail Act and O'Callaghan Rules, Gardaí cited the serious nature of the charge; and their belief that Mr Lillis would flee the jurisdiction and not stand trial.

Gardaí agreed with Mr Lillis's solicitor that he had expressed fears for his safety.

Det. Keane said Gardaí had “serious concerns” the shooting incident “has the propensity to lead to other serious incidents.”

Mr Lillis’s solicitor applied to the court to impose reporting restrictions.

Judge Marian O’Leary said she could not make such an order.

She remanded Mr Lillis in custody to appear before Limerick District Court again on July 18.

Meanwhile, a man in his 20s was arrested separately yesterday in connection with the shooting.

The suspect is detained at Henry Street Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

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