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Getaway driver in bid by organised crime gang to murder man in west Dublin jailed for ten years

The judge said Lee Boylan was shot three times at close range.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

THE GETAWAY DRIVER in a bid by an organised crime gang to murder Lee Boylan in west Dublin has been jailed for ten years.

Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Michael White said this was “a well-planned attack” with a sophisticated degree of surveillance and was carried out “at the behest of a criminal organisation”, which perceived that Boylan had been involved in a previous attack.

The judge said Boylan was shot three times at close range and his life was saved due to a “fortuitous fluke” when his gunshot wounds formed an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein that stopped him from bleeding out.

Although Boylan did not cooperate with the investigation it was likely he would have life-long injuries, he added.

Referring to the getaway driver Alan Graham (49), the judge said he could not have been “more proximate” to the event other than the gunman, who was a senior member or one of the leaders of this criminal organisation.

There was also a strong possibility that the accused had become involved in the attack as he owed a drug debt, he said.

Graham of Davin Gardens, Cahirdavin, Limerick pleaded guilty last January to having knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation and participating in activities with the intention of facilitating the commission by the criminal organisation of the offence of attempted murder of Boylan (26), or being reckless as to same at Blakestown Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 on 6 March 2019.

The Central Criminal Court was told during last month’s sentence hearing that Boylan, the victim of the murder bid by the criminal organisation, sustained three gunshot wounds to his shoulder and neck as he sat in his van in broad daylight in a highly populated area in west Dublin.

Evidence was given that it was “a miraculous piece of medical luck” that the then 24-year-old survived and he would have bled to death if his carotid artery and jugular vein had not joined in a “arteriovenous fistula”, an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein that stopped the bleeding.

Boylan was shot and left with “life-changing injuries” because an organised criminal gang “perceived” he had been involved in the murder of a man in December 2018. The three bullets could not be removed from the victim and remain in his body.

The father, whose three-year-old child was supposed to be with him in his van that day, asked the gardaí in the ambulance on the way to the hospital not to let him die.

Graham has 20 previous convictions in this jurisdiction, mainly for drug related offences and one Canadian conviction for selling stolen passports. He was caught in 2010 with €750,000 worth of cocaine and €200,000 in cash and jailed for ten years.

Mr Justice White set the headline sentence at 14 years in prison.

The judge sentenced Graham to 11 years imprisonment with the final year suspended, backdated to June 17, 2019 when he went into custody.

Prosecution counsel Pauline Walley SC said the State wished to enter a “nolle prosequi” – a decision not to proceed with the case – on the charge of attempted murder.

Sentence hearing 

At Graham’s sentence hearing last month, Detective Sergeant Shane McCartan detailed the background to the shooting. He told prosecution counsel Walley that Graham was driving a BMW on the day, which was carrying the gunman who had shot Boylan.

Det Sgt McCartan said that gardaí first became aware of events shortly after 5pm on the afternoon of March 6. Gardaí received 999 calls indicating that a number of gunshots had been fired through a driver’s side window of a car that was parked at a junction on a busy street in Mulhuddart, close to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. 

The witness said that Boylan was in a “very bad way” and sustained very serious life-threatening and life-changing injuries after being shot three times in the neck and shoulder in a highly populated area with high levels of traffic. 

Boylan suffered a traumatic “arteriovenous fistula” and there was a serious penetrating injury to his right carotid artery and jugular vein.

The fistula created a blockage which prevented him from bleeding out and created an abnormal connection between the artery and vein.

Det Sgt McCartan said it was a “miraculous piece of medical luck” that a fistula was created as a result of the penetrating wounds as otherwise he would have instantly bled to death at the scene.

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The victim was brought to Connolly Hospital before he was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where a stent was placed in his neck which saved his life.

Several gardai and ambulance crew attended the scene and Mr Boylan was removed from his van. CPR was performed on him on the road before he was transferred by ambulance to Connolly Hospital, where he expressed his fear of dying to a number of garda in the ambulance and asked them not to let him die. 

The detective described the incident as a “sophisticated stakeout” of a car wash and said Boylan had brought his van to be cleaned at 2pm after his dog had got sick in it. Boylan returned to collect his van around 5pm that evening.

Gardaí learned that a gunman called “Mr D” was the front seat passenger in the BMW, which was driven by Graham on the day and the car had been in the vicinity of the car wash for some time prior to the actual shooting.

The BMW remained in close proximity to the car wash, which was within view of Boylan’s van, with the aim of being able to observe his vehicle leaving the carwash. 

Walley said that two other vehicles, a red Audi and a black Volkswagen Golf, were in a “tick tack” operation with the BMW and the three cars had been in contact with each other for a number of hours prior to the shooting.

The Volkswagen Golf was parked adjacent to where the shooting occurred and picked up the shooter after the incident. 

The BMW was driven a short distance away to Saddlers estate in Mulhuddart following the shooting, where Graham burnt out the car. The court heard that the red Audi was the car associated with “Mr D”. 

The detective said that the movements of these cars had attracted the attention of people residing in Saddlers estate prior to the shooting and some calls had been made to gardaí concerning the drivers of these vehicles, who were seen acting in a suspicious manner. 

The court heard this was an attack undertaken by an organised criminal gang, which perceived Boylan to have been involved in the murder of a man in December 2018.

“As a result of the perception of the organised crime gang of the alleged role of Mr Boylan, garda intelligence is that this was carried out in retaliation or a revenge attack,” indicated the witness.

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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