Two gunmen marched into a Cabra pub and fired eight bullets into crime boss Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne, an inquest heard.
Thirty-four-year-old Dunne of Dunsoughly Drive, Finglas, Dublin 11 was shot dead at a birthday party in the Fassaugh House Pub in Cabra, Dublin 7, on April 23, 2010.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard he tried to protect himself by hiding behind a lounge boy.
Dunne was attending the birthday party of taxi driver John Fairbrother when he was shot.
The inquest heard he was sitting in the company of a number of men when the gunmen entered and "pandemonium" followed as they fired at him.
Karaoke operator Paul Byrne told the court that when the gunmen, who were dressed completely in black and wearing balaclavas, entered the pub one of them shouted: “Down, down, everybody down”.
The inquest heard from the statement of lounge boy Geng Tian, who has since returned to China, that he was waiting to be paid for a round of drinks at the table when Dunne grabbed him.
“He pulled me in close to his body, he moved in close to me as if he was trying to hide himself by covering himself using me,” he told gardaí.
“At this point, I thought he was joking with me. I thought he was playing around, I was surprised. He pulled me in close to himself, covering himself for a few seconds. Suddenly I heard a very loud bang behind my head on my right side.”
Another witness Graham Farrell said he saw one gunman run toward where Dunne was sitting before shooting him in the head.
“I saw Eamon’s head splatter on the back top right of his head,” he said.
The jury heard that CCTV shows two men entering the pub while a third man waited outside. Another person waited in a getaway car.
Dunne was identified by his brother David Dunne at the Dublin city mortuary in Marino. He told the coroner that his brother had never “directly” said that he was in fear for his life.
The post-mortem was carried out by state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy who found that Dunne was shot eight times with five bullets causing injuries to the brain and vital internal organs.
There were two gunshots to the back to the head which would have been immediately fatal, coroner Dr Brian Farrell said. No drugs or alcohol were found in his system when he died.
Dunne was a major crime figure having assumed control of the Finglas-based drugs and armed robbery operation previously led by Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland.
His gang was a major importer of drugs, supplying them to smaller operations throughout the country and is suspected of being involved in a number of gangland killings.
Detective Inspector Francis Sweeney said the garda investigation was extensive and is still ongoing "all the time". Some associated matters were the subject of a file sent to the Director of Dublic Prosecutions but not the murder itself, he said.
It was definitely a targeted shooting, Dunne was singled out and shot eight times, he told the court.
There had been several threats to his life over the years, he added. A total of 12 shots were discharged in the attack.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons unknown.