Shooting victim was killed over drugs debt

The victim of Sunday night’s gangland shooting was murdered in front of his father and brother in a Dublin pub over what is believed to be a row over a drug debt.

Gardaí yesterday confirmed the victim was Paul Cullen, 26, who was targeted by a masked gunman as he sat with family and friends in his local pub, The Cabra House on Fassaugh Avenue in Cabra. It is understood he tried to throw chairs at his attacker to defend himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering shotgun wounds to the head.

Mr Cullen, a father of one, had survived an attempt on his life last August. He had been warned by gardaí that his life was under threat.

The murder was witnessed by Mr Cullen’s father, who is confined to a wheelchair, as well as his brother.

Supt David Taylor described the shooting as “a callous and brutal murder of a young man”.

Mr Cullen, whose family home was metres from the pub, was a convicted drug dealer who was released from prison last year after serving six years for drugs offences and an assault on a female garda.

It is believed Mr Cullen may have been targeted by a number of criminal associates who would be linked to a local gang in the Cabra area once headed up by the late gangland boss Eamonn Dunne.

Gardaí yesterday renewed their appeal for witnesses to the fatal shooting to come forward.

Detectives said they wished to speak to any customers who were in Cabra House (also known locally as The Oasis) on Sunday evening either before or during the shooting at 7pm.

It is believed there were about 25 patrons on the premises during the attack — some of whom fled the pub immediately out of concerns for their own safety.

Members of the public who were on Fassaugh Avenue around the time have also been asked to contact gardaí if they noticed any unusual activity in the area.

Gardaí have also appealed for help in tracing the motorbike used to make their escape by the killer and his accomplice who were both dressed in dark clothing.

The getaway vehicle, described as a dark medium-sized motorcycle, is believed to have headed off in the direction of the city centre.

Gardaí were yesterday analysing CCTV footage from the area to try and trace the vehicle.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Garda confidential helpline on 1800 666111.


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