Athboy teacher caught up in terrifying school shooting

Story by Gavan Becton

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019 11:07am

Athboy teacher caught up in terrifying school shooting

Athboy man Colm Carney is a teacher at Riversdale Community College

An Athboy teacher bravely blocked his classroom door after shots were fired in a botched gangland hit outside the school were he works yesterday.

Colm Carrney, a 25-year old French teacher was finishing up lessons at Riversdale Community College at 3.40pm when a lone gunman, believed to be linked to an ongoing feud between two crime families in the area, sprayed bullets at an intended target who was there to collect a student.

The school, which holds almost 300 students was put on a temporary lockdown as teachers kept the children indoors while gardai arrived on the scene.

"So, the bell goes at 3.40 and I was literally at the door ready to go out and then I just heard the announcement 'all students and all staff remain indoors' and then it was repeated and another one saying 'all students and all staff remain indoors, nobody to be let in or out', said Colm.'"

"I'd never heard anything like that before. My initial reaction was that it must be some sort of internal incident, perhaps a problem with a student or something like that. I never imagined it could be something like this."

"My father happened to be collecting me yesterday and he said he heard two shots fired from the edge of the school grounds."

"A few minutes later we heard another announcement calling all staff to the assembly hall where we were told the news and told to go back to the class and keep everyone inside until further notice. We were told that the target of the shooting was still in the school somewhere.

"We spent about 20 minutes then standing at our classroom doors not letting anyone in or out. The principal said that the 'target' of the shooting had run into the school, he was hiding in the school. It appears he sought refuge after being shot at at the gates."

Colm says the first year students he was teaching were "calm enough" despite the commotion going on around the school campus but they started contacting worried parents as they were due to be collected.

"I was in a situtation that was new to me. I tried to answer their questions as best I could but I really didn't know what was going on. I just told them we'd have to wait for an annoucnement to come to see what happens next."

Colm says after 40 minutes in class they were allowed leave the classroom for the assembly hall and each student in the 300 strong school had to be collected individually. It took a while to get that done but nobody was allowed leave without a parent collecting them."

The shooting is believed to be part of an ongoing feud between two families in the immediate Corduff area. They are suspected to be involved in the drugs trade and have been subject of garda organised crime probes.

Colm Carney in action from Trim Celtic

A statement from the school said that teachers kept pupils inside while gardai made the area safe.

 A spokeswoman said: "DDLETB is the patron of Riversdale Community College, Blanchardstown Road North, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

"We are aware that an incident involving gunfire has taken place outside of the school this afternoon at approximately 3.40pm.

"The Gardai attended the area immediately in large numbers.  All pupils and staff are safe and well.

"When the nature of the incident became apparent, the school requested all pupils to stay within the school for a period of time to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Colm, who has been teaching at Riversdale since January having previously taught in Oldcastle and Spain explained how it was a strange ending to what had been a happy day for him personally having received word that he'd been called up to play with the Irish Amateur International squad.

The Trim Celtic striker is hoping to recover from a leg injury to take part in a four-team tournament in Jersey in the coming weeks.