Teen charged in connection with halting site shooting

A 16-year-old boy charged at the Children’s Court in connection with a shooting incident at a Traveller halting site in Dublin last year has been remanded on bail.

The teen admits being the getaway driver but denies firing a shotgun blast from the car or that he had been acting “in concert” with another person, when the gun was used.

The north Dublin boy has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm at Porterstown Road, in Blanchardstown, on September 11 last year, when he was aged 15.

Defence solicitor Paul Byrne told Judge Bryan Smyth that a trial was due to take place in the Children’s Court next month.

However, he informed the court that an alternative charge, which the teen would plead guilty to, may be brought against his client instead.

Judge Smyth acceded to a request to adjourn the case until next week when it will be known if the existing charge for firing the gun is to be dropped. The teen, who was accompanied to his case by his father, was remanded on continuing bail.

The boy has already pleaded guilty to related charges for dangerous driving, and driving without a licence or insurance, in connection with the incident.

Giving evidence, Garda Ciaran Campbell had told the court earlier that he responded to a report of a shooting which had been observed by an off-duty Garda sergeant who followed a car driven by the teen.

Garda Campbell had said he came across the teen driving the car, which also had a male passenger, at the Ongar Distributor Road.

During a five-mile pursuit the teenager repeatedly broke red lights and “drove on the wrong side of the road at high speed”.

Other vehicles including a bus had to either take evasive action or brake heavily to avoid being hit by the teenager.

The boy overtook backed up traffic, at the Castlecurragh Road, in north Dublin, when he lost control and skidded into a kerb. He continued driving into the Warrenstown Estate, in Blanchardstown and abandoned the car at a cul-de-sac.

He and his passenger were arrested following a foot chase.

A single barrel shotgun and cartridges were found in a bag in the foot well at the front passenger side of the car.


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