Michael O’Driscoll, 27, from Dublin’s north inner city, was drinking with a woman in a pub in Torremolinos, Spain, on Saturday night when a masked gunman singled him out and opened fire.
Police believe it was an amateur gun attack and that the would-be assassin bungled his attempt, only inflicting relatively minor injuries on his target.
Gardaí are helping Spanish police in their investigations, who are trying to piece together a motive for the brazen attack and who might be behind it.
Mr O’Driscoll, from St Mary’s Mansions flat complex, Dublin, was taken to hospital, where his injuries were described as non-life threatening.
Sources said Mr O’Driscoll was eager to return to Ireland, given the obvious threat to his life in Spain.
He had only been in Spain a couple of days.
It is understood there was no known threat to Mr O’Driscoll’s life before he went to Spain but detectives here are investigating the matter.
“He may have been conducting business there,” said a Garda source. “He was only there a couple of days, so he may have been set up or he crossed someone over there. We don’t know at the moment.”
Gardaí said O’Driscoll was a “gofer” for a major criminal gang in Dublin’s north inner city, with a reputation for armed robberies. “He would have been known for years, doing robberies and break-ins for the gang,” said a source. “He had worked his way up, but he was not high-ranking.”
Mr O’Driscoll survived a gun attack in Swords, Dublin, six years ago.