In June 2008 devoted mum Catherine Delaney McCormack answered a late night knock at her Clondalkin home.
As she opened the door a man wearing a mask raised his pistol and fired blasting the care worker to the floor. As she laid dazed and bleeding the man – who could clearly see her two young children watching from the stairs – fired his Glock gun relentlessly at her legs and torso before walking away.
In any other part of the world this repulsive crime – which would have robbed nine young children of their innocent mother – would have been put on a pedestal by the State to find the extremely dangerous person responsible.
Not here; not in Ireland
For whatever reason, which myself, Catherine or activists have been unable to find out through gardai, GSOC, and the Department of Justice, it lays unsolved with no real appetite within any of the above named organisations to offer answers or have this case closed.
Today this woman, left with catastrophic injuries after being blasted with 12 bullets at close range, is left not only living in fear but to also to fund her own campaign to try to convict the person who tried to kill her.
What makes Catherine’s story all the more horrifying is she KNOWS the person who ordered her death, and she handed the evidence to gardai YEARS ago.
Yet this man is walking the streets, knowing he has almost gotten away with attempted murder, or as gardai described it, a ‘shooting incident’.
Ahead of the ninth anniversary of this unthinkable crime, I will be uploading a series of articles over the next number of weeks with Catherine, past and present, about her case. Below is the first story.
Article first appeared in the Irish Daily Star.
A MIRACLE mum shot 12 times in a botched hitman murder-bid has said she will sue the State after being forced to set up her own campaign to bring the gunman to justice.
Catherine Delaney McCormack (50) says will launch civil proceedings against Gardai and the Health Service Executive (HSE) after being “let down”
The brave mum-of-nine, who was shot in the legs, stomach and back, is lucky to be alive after the horrific hit witnessed by four of her children.
And yesterday the courageous former carer told The Star that despite giving police the name of the man she believes paid to have her killed, the suspect has yet to be questioned.
Caherine, who was forced to flee Dublin over fears she could be targetted again, also revealed how she has set up her own campaign to find the gun-toting gangster behind the murderous hit
“Not getting justice has been more traumatic than the actually shooting,” she told The Star yesterday.
“It’s got to the stage now where I am gathering my own information, and I am going to take civil action against the whole State.
“The way this system has treated me has actually been worse than me being shot 12 times.”
Catherine was left fighting for her life after a gunman blasted her in the legs, stomach and back during an early morning attack at her west Dublin home in 2008.
She was shot as she opened the door to her Clondalkin home.
“I was in bed and heard this banging on the door, it was like an urgent knock, like something had happened,” said Catherine.
“I was worried that something had happened to one of my older lads who had been out that night. So I got dressed quick, I shouted I was coming. Then the banging stopped.
“As I went down the stairs my 10 year-old and 12 year-old stood at the top.
“As I opened the door, the gunman saw who it was and started to fire.”
Catherine was blasted 12 times before falling to the floor as her terrified children looked on.
“Next thing I know is I am holding my stomach, on the ground, and I had these funny sensations in y leg, and it was then it clicked, that I’d been shot.”
“He didn’t say anything at all (as he shot) and I was very conscious of the children on the stairs, that they’d get hurt. I’d no clue of what was going on.”
The mum-of-nine said she only realised how serious her injuries when she tried to crawl across the floor.
“There was this thick stream of blood, and I just thought, this is bad,” she said.
“He kept on shooting and I actually said to him, do you not think that was enough?”
“I was able to push the door closed and still two more shots came, and they went through the door. And then I felt this intense pain.”
Catherine’s terrified children ran out of the house to raise the alarm.
Within minutes paramedics and police were om the scene, with the terrified carer’s injuries so severe, they had remove a number of bullets from her body while she lay on the floor in her bloodsoaked hallway.
She had been shot six times in her left leg, twice in her right, two times in the back and once in her hip. A bullet also penetrated her stomach hitting her bowel.
“When the paramedics were putting pressure on certain parts of my body, blood was oozing out of others,” she recalled.
“They actually had to cut off my clothes and at one stage as my stomach was expanding, they thought it was going to erupt.”
As she was rushed to hospital a preist was called and she received the Last Rites at her bedside.
Despite the horrific injuries she suffered, she mad ea miraculous recovery and left hospital two weeks later.
“The doctors called me a medical miracle. They actually said to me, you shouldn’t be here – you actually shouldn’t be here.”
Sadly after returning to her work as a carer, Catherine was forced to quit due to the physical injuries she received.
But she says not seeing the man she believes is responsible for her attempted murder has been more traumatic.
“I can live the scars and the pain, but not that,” said the 50 year-old.
“Even to today, the person who I believe shot me has never been questioned, never taken in by Gardai. And I have not been told why.
“I was told by the guards it was a hired hitman, which I believe, but how do they know that? They know and I know who did it.”
“I only had one enemy, and I know of only one person who could have benefited from me dying.”
She added: “I’ve made complaints to GSOC, t almost every politician, but they do nothing.
“At the end of the day as long as we have a garda system that investigates themselves, as long as we have a HSE system that investigates itself, no victim of theirs is ever going to get justice.”
This year Catherine took her fight for justice one step further by making her own posters appealing for information that could help put her would-be killer behind bars.
“I’ve included a phone number, an email address and I’ve put them up around Clondalkin. Somebody knows something,” she said.
“If anyone has any information they are keeping, for whatever reason, I say to them, are you happy knowing that that person is walking the streets.
“If they are capable of doing that to a woman with nine children, what else are the capable of?”