Belfast gangster 'Fat Deccy' Smith was blasted in face with shotgun, weeping young mum tells inquest
A young mother was standing just a few feet away from Real IRA gangster Declan Smith when he was shot in the face with a shotgun, an inquest has heard.
The victim, known as ‘Fat Deccy,’ cried “No” several times as his attacker pointed a double-barrelled shotgun into his face before firing.
The 32-year-old victim died a week after the brutal shooting outside a creche in north Dublin.
He was originally from Belfast and was believed to have connections to murdered Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.
It is understood Smith was wanted by police in Northern Ireland investigating a gruesome double murder of two men in Belfast in March 2007 which was linked to the Continuity IRA dissident group.
The body of Eddie Burns, 36, was found with serious head injuries in the Bog Meadows, close to the M1 motorway in west Belfast. The second victim Joe Jones, 38, was shot in the back of the head in the Ardoyne district where both men lived.
Smith, of Howth Road, Dublin, was shot after dropping off his son at the Little Rainbows Creche on Holywell Avenue, Donaghmede, on March 21, 2014. No one has been charged with the murder.
Young mum Kelly O’Meara wept at the inquest of the gun victim as her testimony was read to the coroner’s court in Dublin today.
Ms O’Meara wiped tears from her face as she sat in the witness box.
In her statement, she said she dropped her daughter into the creche around 9am.
As she was leaving through the front door, she held the door open for Smith, who she did not know, as he arrived with his little boy and he said “thanks”.
He was a tall man with a large build wearing a jumper and blue jeans.
Shortly afterwards, when she was outside going to her car, he heard a man’s voice saying “no” three or four times, she said.
A gunman carrying a long double-barrelled shotgun was in front of Smith in a crouched position.
The gunman then stood up and pointed the shotgun into Smith’s face.
The gunman was standing right in front of Smith as the victim repeated the word “no”.
He continued to point the shotgun at his head.
“Then, there was a very loud bang. I was standing eight to 10 feet away from him. He fell down on his left side and ended up face down on the ground,” Ms O’Meara said.
“I immediately jumped into my car. I was afraid the gunman... would attack me for seeing him.
“The gunman stood over the man for a number of seconds and pointed the gun at the man’s head.
“I thought he was going to shoot again. But he didn’t and he walked away.”
The gunman had a bag slung over his shoulder and was wearing a dark baseball cap and was aged in his late 30s or early 40s.
Ms O’Meara telephoned 999 while in her car and asked for gardai and an ambulance.
“I roared to the man on the ground that I was calling for an ambulance,” she said.
“The man on the ground was flapping or wobbling.”
There was a large wound on the left side of his face, she said.
At an earlier hearing, the inquest was told Declan Smith (32) was shot in the face outside the creche.
He survived for a week but succumbed to his wounds at Beaumont Hospital on March 28 that year.
His mother Anne Smith confirmed to Coroner Brian Farrell today that she identified her son’s body shortly after 7pm on the day of his death.
She said that her son’s partner and their young son lived at Bunratty Road in Coolock and he lived at Howth Road in Dubln. Mrs Smith said she has three other sons.
Dr Farrell asked her if her son had ever told her that he feared for his life or his safety.
She indicated he never expressed any such fears.
The coroner’s court also heard, at an earlier inquest, that the post-mortem was
carried out by state pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, at
the Dublin city mortuary in Marino.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell warned the family that the cause of death given in her preliminary report was “distressing” before going on to
say that Smith died from “shotgun injuries to the face and neck”.
Detective Inspector Tony Howard confirmed that gardai are pursuing a homicide investigation and inquiries are “very active and ongoing”.
‘Fat Deccy’ Smith was a close pal of Real IRA gangland thug Alan Ryan.
The duo previously kidnapped and tortured a senior member of a criminal gang in an unsuccessful attempt to steal guns weeks before Alan Ryan was himself shot dead in September 2012.
Sources say that the gang vowed revenge for this incident and gardai are working on the theory that this was the motive for Smith’s murder.
Source Irish Independent