The man shot dead in a Dublin bar last night was a seasoned criminal who was convicted of a vicious assault on a female garda six years ago.
Paul Cullen was gunned down by two masked men in what is believed to have been a gangland killing as he sat in the Cabra House bar in Faussagh Avenue in Cabra, which is situated just yards from his home in the same avenue.
Gardaí said the gunmen entered the pub at approximately 7.10pm and fired a number of shots. The 25-year-old victim was hit a number of times.
The gunmen then escaped on a motorcycle towards the city.
Cullen’s body remained at the scene last night awaiting the arrival of someone from the State Pathologist’s office and while the Garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination.
Gardaí were also trying to track down and interview anyone who was in the bar at the time of the killing.
They asked for anyone with information or who may have witnessed the killing to contact Cabra Garda station on 01 666 7400 or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.
In 2008, Cullen and his cousin Carl Cullen were jailed for an assault in 2007 on a female garda which left her passing blood in her urine for a week afterwards due to an injury to her spleen and with facial injuries and blurred vision. She was also left with chronic back pain.
At the time of that conviction, Cullen was serving a six-year sentence for storing almost €56,000 worth of cannabis resin. He claimed he had been storing the drugs to clear drug debts and that he was in fear for his life after receiving a bullet in the post.
During the court hearing for the garda assault, which occurred in Nov 2007, a detective told the court that Paul Cullen took the female officer’s weapon, an extendable baton, and kicked her in the stomach while his cousin hit her on the head as she was attempting to arrest another youth.
She was forced to retreat to her car while she and her fellow officers waited for reinforcement to arrive.
Two other gardaí, one of them a student, also suffered facial injuries during the incident.
Paul Cullen was handed down a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended which was to run consecutive to the six-year sentence he was already serving.
He had only recently been released from prison before last night’s murder.
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