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Man pleads guilty to shooting cousin in Balla

Man pleads guilty to shooting cousin in Balla

47-year-old to be sentenced in May after psychiatric assessment

Edwin McGreal

A middle-aged Mayo Abbey man who opened fire with a full-length firearm and shot his cousin in a shop in Balla will be sentenced one year on from the shocking incident.
Vincent O’Donnell (47), of Knocknabrone, Mayo Abbey, Claremorris admitted causing serious harm to Dympna Walshe when he shot her twice in the legs as she worked as a shop assistant in the Costcutter Shop in Balla on May 31 last. Mr O’Donnell will be sentenced in Castlebar Circuit Court on May 9 next.
The court also heard today (Tuesday) that Mr O’Donnell was pleading guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. The accused was again remanded in custody by Judge Thomas E O’Donnell, who directed that a Probation Report, as well as a Psychiatric Report, be prepared on Mr O’Donnell for sentencing. A Victim Impact Statement is also to be prepared by the injured party, Dympna Walshe.
The shooting shocked the quiet village of Balla last May. Mr O’Donnell and Dympna Walshe are cousins and both grew up in close proximity to each other in Mayo Abbey. Ms Walshe, who is in her early 50s, required extensive surgery for injuries sustained in the attack.
On the evening in question O’Donnell walked into the shop carrying a full-length firearm and proceeded to approach the counter and allegedly fired two shots at Dympna Walshe.
After fleeing the scene on foot, O’Donnell then got into a vehicle parked some length away and drove to a rural public house some three miles away where he was arrested at 8pm that evening.