Belfast Telegraph

Suspect quizzed over shooting outside Celtic star's dad's pub

By Tom Brady

A suspected member of a major Dublin crime gang was being questioned by gardai last night over a triple shooting in the capital last year.

The incident was part of a bitter feud between criminals and dissident republican group, the Real IRA.

Three innocent victims were gunned down as the attacker ran towards them with two guns blazing. All three shooting victims survived the attack.

The shooting took place outside the Players Lounge pub in Fairview Strand in July last year.

The pub, which is owned by John Stokes, father of Irish and Glasgow Celtic soccer star, Anthony Stokes, was gutted in a fire earlier this year.

Doorman Wayne Barrett, from Ratoath Road, Finglas, was critically injured after being shot in the head and body; while customers Austen Purcell, from Marino, and Brian Masterson, from East Wall, were wounded during the attack.

Gardai believe the gunman planned to shoot members of the Real IRA. None of the three wounded people have any connection with illegal activity. Detectives believe the gunman was associated with a gang involved in a row with dissidents over a protection racket.

Following a year-long inquiry, detectives from Clontarf arrested a man in his 30s from Ballyfermot yesterday.

He was taken to Clontarf station for questioning and can be held without charge for up to seven days.

The suspect has been questioned in the past and some of his close associates have been arrested by officers in connection with murder investigations.

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