‘We must act on gun crime before a child is killed’

It’s only a matter of time before a child is shot dead if the Government and gardaí do not tackle gun crime in certain communities, a political representative has warned.

It follows a shooting incident in Ballyfermot, west Dublin, on Friday night in which a gunman opened fire on the driver of a moped, carrying his six-year-old daughter.

It is thought that a bullet bounced off the girl’s helmet, while her 39-year-old father suffered leg wounds.

A man from nearby Crumlin was arrested and gardaí are investigating motives for the attack, including the possibility the father was not the intended target.

The attack occurred close to where a shooting took place last June, in which seven-year-old Sean Scully was left disabled. The boy was only recently discharged from hospital.

“One boy was shot and left in a wheelchair, now we have a girl lucky to escape with her life,” said local Sinn Féin TD Daithí Doolan. “The two of them could have been funerals. The next time we may not be so lucky. We should not wait until a child is killed.”

Mr Doolan said the availability of firearms and the recklessness of gunmen was on top of a worsening blight of low-level violence in the area. “My phone is jammed with locals terrorised by quads and scramblers destroying green areas, running kids off paths, and nothing is being done,” he said.

“You have a huge level of frustration and anger. People in these communities pay their taxes and have the same hopes and dreams for their children as parents in the likes of Blackrock. But this violence would not be accepted there.”

He called on the Government and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to make this issue a priority and apply necessary resources.

Meanwhile, in Limerick, a family had a lucky escape after a shooting at their home on Hyde Rd early yesterday.


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