‘Daddy didn’t make it to the hall, he shot him’

The children of a criminal shot dead in his home told how a man holding a gun entered the kitchen wearing a balaclava before shooting their father dead.

‘Daddy didn’t make it to the hall, he shot him’

Andy Connors, 46, of the Old Pound, Boherboy Rd, Saggart, Co Dublin was buried in a gold-plated coffin after he was shot in front of his family on August 19, 2014. His wife Ann Connors, four of his six children and a niece were in the house at the time.

One of his daughters told how she was pushed to the floor by the gunman who entered the house through the back door into the kitchen shortly before 11pm.

“A man came to the door wearing a black balaclava, bulletproof vest and black gloves. He walked in the door. He grabbed me and pushed me to the ground. He had a gun in his right hand,” the child said in her deposition, read out at Dublin Coroner’s Court.

Family members cried as the details of the killing were recounted.

“Daddy didn’t make it to the hall, he shot him. Then he walked out of the house and drove off. I went down the hall and saw mammy holding daddy,” said the child.

Mr Connors had been “in good form” earlier that evening according to neighbour Keith Brennan.

“He was 100% flying and in good humour. He didn’t mention any threats,” he said.

The pair had had a few drinks at a pub in Monasterevin before returning to the Connors’ home in Saggart at around 10pm.

Another daughter said she was playing in the bedroom when she heard a scream from the kitchen. She described the gunman holding what she thought was a Mac 10 machinegun in his right hand.

“He shot my daddy six or seven times. My daddy fell back onto my mammy. The man walked out,” she said.

A 999 call was made at 10.55pm. Mr Connors was unresponsive when gardaí and paramedics arrived at 11.09pm. He was rushed to Tallaght Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11.58pm.

The cause of death was gunshot wounds to the chest, according to state pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy.

Ann Connors asked the coroner if there was anything the family could have done to save him.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said that Mr Connors suffered direct injuries to his heart and died within seconds.

“There was nothing you could have done,” the coroner said.

Detective Inspector John Walshe told the court a file has been sent to the DPP but there has been no prosecution in relation to the killing. The investigation remains open.

The jury at the inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown.

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