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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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Young man shot dead in Dublin's inner city was 'harmless, loveable young fellow'

The father-of-three was gunned down in broad daylight in a case of mistaken identity.

Image: Garda Press Office

THE FAMILY OF Martin O’Rourke, the young man gunned down in Dublin’s north inner city yesterday, have released a photo of him.

The 24-year-old was shot a number of times in broad daylight outside Noctor’s pub on Sheriff Street. His murder is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity – the intended target was an associate of the Hutch gang and a suspect in the Regency Hotel shooting.

Sources say O’Rourke was wearing a jacket similar to the intended target, who had been seen around the area before the shooting.

Though he had come to the attention of gardaí in the past, it was for minor offences. He was a drug addict and had no involvement in organised crime.

Fr Peter McVerry, who knew Martin, described him on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland as a “harmless, loveable young fellow”.

He said he had tried to address his addiction and was drug-free a couple of years ago after a rehab programme. However McVerry said he “unfortunately wasn’t able to maintain that, he relapsed into drugs”.

The young man had been living in the north inner city, but was not from the Sheriff Street area. After his family were informed of his death yesterday, they appealed for privacy, but this afternoon released a photo.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, local councillor Gary Gannon said it is “absolutely tragic” that an innocent man has been dragged into the current gangland feud between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs.

“He seems like a guy who had problems his whole life and yesterday he was murdered,” he said.

“And when Eddie Hutch was killed was because he was related to someone.”

We’ll talk about him for a few days, but then it’ll stop again, until the next time. This fella probably came from a disadvantaged background, probably wasn’t very well educated and now he’s been murdered. These guys know they can do this without any worry.

Gannon said the feud had reached such a level of “depravity” that the people involved believe they can kill people without ever getting caught.

There are two playschools around there and he was just shooting indiscriminantly. He was on a push bike so he knew the response would be slow. These guys are not particularly educated, but they know enough to know they’ll get away with it.

Gardaí yesterday recovered a handgun which they suspect could be the murder weapon, and a bicycle believed to have been used by the gunman. They are appealing for witnesses to contact them, describing the shooter as a man of strong build, wearing all black, with a scarf over his face. He made off in the direction of Seville Place.

Anyone with information is urged to make contact with gardaí at Store Street station on 01 6668000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Read: Known to gardaí? Every time a man is shot dead, I wait for this little phrase to rear its ugly head>

Read: Gardaí appeal to locals not to be afraid to come forward after Sheriff Street shooting>

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