Notorious gangster John Gilligan has been shot while celebrating a family christening at his brother’s house.
The drug lord and chief suspect in the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin was targeted at the home in the Greenfort area of Clondalkin, near Dublin at about 7pm yesterday.
It is understood the 61-year-old was with family and friends in the house when two masked gunmen tried to force their way in.
Gilligan is believed to have locked himself in a downstairs toilet as the attackers got inside.
Up to four shots were fired in the attempted murder, gardai said.
Gilligan was hit at least twice, suffering bullet wounds to his shoulder or upper chest area and also another bullet wound in one of his legs.
Gardai said that two men forced their way into the gangster’s brother’s house on Greenfort Crescent where the day-long christening celebrations had been taking place.
Both men were armed and wearing masks.
Gilligan was treated at the scene and then taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown with what gardai described as “non-fatal” injuries.
The attackers fled the scene in a silver SUV or 4x4 type motor, detectives believe.
The crime boss, who was released from jail last year after being convicted of a multi-million euro cannabis trafficking operation in the 1990s, is understood to have been recently warned of threats to his life.
It had also been reported that a gunman attempted to shoot him in a pub in north Dublin several weeks after his release.
Gilligan was freed from Portlaoise Prison last October after being jailed in 2001.
He had been arrested in 1996 after being stopped by UK Customs officers with IR£296,000 in a suitcase as he attempted to board a plane for Amsterdam at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Within hours of his release Gilligan repeatedly denied the murder of Ms Guerin, a crime journalist with the Sunday Independent, who was shot dead in 1996.
Detectives from Ronanstown Garda station are investigating.
They said the shooting incident took place at the house at about 7.10pm.
Investigating gardai issued an appeal for witnesses to the gun attack and urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact officers in Ronanstown.