Tearful parents visit gun murder scene

Tearful parents today visited the scene where their son was shot dead in the first gun murder in Ireland of 2007.

Tearful parents today visited the scene where their son was shot dead in the first gun murder in Ireland of 2007.

A 22-year-old man, named locally as Damien Dowdall, died after gunmen burst into his girlfriend’s house in west Dublin last night.

Dowdall died in the living room after being shot twice, according to the Garda.

Officers leading the investigation are meeting to confirm a motive for the brutal killing as it revives political controversy around spiralling gun crimes, which claimed 27 lives last year.

Dowdall’s parents today visited the scene of the house on Lealand Road in Clondalkin.

An onlooker said: “The mother was in tears and his father spoke to gardaí and shook hands with officers guarding the crime scene.”

The gunmen forced their way into the two-storey terraced house at 10.10pm last night and confronted Dowdall in the sitting room.

The gunmen fled on foot towards Deansrath Park.

Superintendent John Hartnett is leading the investigation and has already held a case conference with his officers at Clondalkin Garda Station.

Forensic officers in blue suits were today examining the area for clues and detectives were carrying out door-to-door inquiries. A Volkswagen Bora saloon car in the driveway was also being examined.

Last year there were 64 violent deaths in Ireland, including 27 gun killings, the highest number in almost a decade.

Labour Party representative for the area Senator Joanna Tuffy called on the public to help gardaí investigate the crime.

“This was a particularly brutal and callous attack as two men confronted a young man in the sitting room of his girlfriend’s house and brutally murdered him at point-blank range,” she said.

Sinn Féin called for a Garda task force to be established urgently in the Clondalkin area to tackle gun crime.

The party’s general-election candidate Joanne Spain said: “I am exaggerating in no way when I say that people in this community feel like they are at breaking point. They are living in fear for their lives, worried that they will be caught in the crossfire whenever these gangs target their next victim.

"They feel like they have been abandoned by the Government.”

Last week father-of-five Michael Gallagher was stabbed to death at his partner’s home on Tymonville Road, Tallaght.

Gardaí were left puzzled by the attack on the 60-year-old painter and decorator, who had no criminal convictions.

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