By Louise Roseingrave
Paul Kavanagh reversed his car at speed in a bid to escape two gunmen who shot him dead, an inquest has heard.
The 26-year-old was looking for parking outside his home on Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 when he was shot multiple times by two attackers. Witnesses saw the two gunmen holding guns in the air as they fled the scene at 11.30am on March 26, 2015.
Mr Kavanagh’s partner Gemma Roe told an inquest into his death that she’d gone to the gym that morning. She drove back to the home the couple shared with their two daughters on Church Avenue shortly before 11.30am.
“Parking was tight and I wouldn’t be the best driver so Paul often parked the car for me,” she said.
“I pulled up outside and beeped and Paul said, ‘wait and I’ll get my slippers’ and then he came out and drove up the road looking for parking,” she said.
When he had not returned 10 minutes later, she grew concerned.
“I had a feeling when I heard the ambulance and he’d been gone so long,” Ms Roe said.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard from witness Jarlath Moran who saw Paul Kavanagh sit into the VW Passat and drive up the road before stopping and reversing at speed.
“It was flying in reverse,” Mr Moran said.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Kavanagh was reversing to escape his attackers but was forced to stop by a white Audi that pulled out and blocked the road.
Local resident Joseph Long heard a number of loud bangs and then saw a car hitting a parked car.
Mr Long said: “I saw one man running from the car with a gun held up in the air. Then I saw a second.
"They were both wearing ski-masks. They jogged off in the direction of Grace Park Road.”
Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) responded to a call at 11.30am. Mr Kavanagh had suffered a gunshot wound to the eye and two to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His mother, Mary Kavanagh who has since passed away, identified her son’s body to Detective Sergeant Michael Mulligan at Dublin City Morgue. A postmortem conducted by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.
Gardaí found a Glock 17 firearm with an extended magazine on the ground near the scene of the shooting. The Audi was set alight before the gunmen fled.
Gardaí launched a full murder inquiry with 800 lines of inquiry and 500 statements collected but no arrests were made.
Det Sgt Mulligan said the investigation remained ongoing.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or person’s unknown.
Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane extended her sympathy to the family.
“I know your family has been touched my a lot of tragedy, my deepest condolences on your loss,” the coroner said.