Two members of the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) rushed to the pub on the northside of Cork city at 6.55pm yesterday after they were informed that the man was waving the shotgun at customers in a threatening manner and demanding to see the owner.
When the armed RSU members arrived at the Mo Chúisle pub in Blarney Street they ordered him to drop the weapon. But it is believed the man refused and actually pointed the shotgun in the direction of the two officers.
One of them then opened fire, shooting him once in the stomach.
He was rushed to Cork University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He was said to be in a critical condition last night. Gardaí sealed off a large part of Blarney Street as a forensic examination was carried out. As armed gardaí were involved, the Garda Ombudsman Commission has taken over the investigation.
One line of enquiry for detectives is that the incident is connected to the death of a 41-year-old Anthony Hennessy, who collapsed outside the same pub in March 2008.
It is believed the man who was shot yesterday is related to Mr Hennessy.
Last year state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told Cork Coroner’s Court that Mr Hennessy, from Chapel Field, Gurranabraher, died of neck compression with acute alcohol consumption as a contributory factor.
Mr Hennessy collapsed after being ejected from the pub.
Seven months after his death drinkers were left terrified after a gunman fired a shot into the packed pub. A motorcyclist approached the front door of the pub, warned people to stay back and then fired a sawn-off shotgun.
No one was injured in that incident. At the time there was speculation this shooting was also linked to Mr Hennessy’s death.