Son of former IRA man is prime suspect in shooting
By Tom Brady Monday February 16 2009
The son of a former senior figure in the Provisional IRA's so-called Dublin brigade is a prime suspect for a shooting which has left a young postman critically ill in hospital.
Victim Robert Delany remains in a vegetative state in hospital after a murder attempt at his duplex home in Tallaght last October.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams last night condemned the shooting as thuggery and branded those responsible as criminals. He told the Irish Independent "This incident had nothing to do with the republican movement and it is reprehensible if those involved tried to use the name of the republican movement to cover themselves."
Mr Adams issued his condemnation following a weekend meeting with Robert Delany's father, Terry, during which he promised he would publicly urge anybody with information about the incident to co-operate with the garda investigation. His criticism of the shooting came as pressure builds locally in Tallaght on Sinn Fein representatives to distance themselves from the alleged attacker in the run up to the local elections later this year. He told Mr Delany he was committed to supporting his campaign seeking justice for his son Robert.
Mr Delany had called on Mr Adams to declare publicly that those responsible for the shooting were criminals. Attacker Last night, Mr Adams disclosed that the father of the alleged attacker had not been active in Sinn Fein for more than a decade and said he knew nothing about any involvement in the IRA. "A grievous wrong has been done on this young man and on his family and they are entitled to justice. I call on anybody with information about the shooting to either contact the Delany family, any representative of Sinn Fein or the gardai," he said. "I don't know who was involved in the incident.
But certain names have been floated about and those people have no links with the republican movement," he added. Gardai are trying to establish if the shooting was linked to a pub row in the area a few weeks before Mr Delany (28) was shot in the head.
Mr Delany intervened to stop an assault in which the son of the former senior figure in the Provisional IRA was involved and, as a result, was understood to have been threatened and told "we'll get you". Gardai are satisfied that Mr Delany was not involved in any criminal activity and was a highly respected member of the local community. They say officially that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry. However, officers admit privately that the pub row link is their main line of investigation, although they do not have evidence to sustain a criminal charge.
Terry Delany told the Irish Independent last night that he was very concerned at the allegations that the people responsible for the attack on his son had republican connections. He appealed to anybody with information about the shooting or the events leading up to it to come forward and contact the gardai in confidence. The garda confidential telephone line is 1800 666111. The shooting was carried out at about 6.30am on October 24 last at the apartment where Robert lives with his partner and two children, at Russell Rise, off Fortunestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin.
Tom Brady Reproduced with kind permission of Independent Newspapers Ireland