Trevor O'Neill was shot in Costa de la Calma on Wednesday evening.

17-08-2016Vasil Vasilev

The shooting of an Irishman in Costa de la Calma on Wednesday night has been met with horror and also conflicting explanations.

Trevor O'Neill, 40, from Dublin was shot in the back shortly after 9pm. The Guardia Civil are saying that he was not with his wife and family at the time, but reports, especially from the Irish media, are insisting that he was. The Guardia are also doubting that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity. The hooded killer (and it hasn't been clarified if there was one acting alone or one with two accomplices) would have been sent specifically to carry out a professional hit. This is what the Guardia seem to believe. If so, they doubt that Mr O'Neill was the wrong man.

The motive for the shooting, which the Guardia are subscribing to, lies with a gangland feud between the Hutch family from Dublin and the Kinahan gang, also Irish but principally based on the Costa del Sol. Mr O'Neill is said to have been a friend of a member of the Hutch family, but the O'Neill family are strenuously denying that he had any involvement with gangland crime.

Instead, he has been described as a family man who worked for Dublin City Council and who had never been in trouble with the Gardaí in Ireland. It is being suggested, therefore, that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was the innocent victim of a feud that has already claimed several other lives.

The Gardaí believe that the killing is related to this feud. If so, the death of Mr O'Neill brings to ten the number of people who have died as a consequence in under a year - eight of them in Ireland and now two in Spain. Gary Hutch was shot in Miraflores near Fuengirola last September. There had been a previous shooting - of Gerard Kavanagh - in Marbella in September 2014.

The only word so far from the Irish government has come from the foreign affairs ministry, which has said that consular assistance is being given to the family.

As it has been reported that Mr O'Neill was a tourist, the town hall in Calvia has been quick to issue a message reassuring visitors that Calvia is a very safe destination and that what happened on Wednesday night was a specific and one-off occurrence.

Deputy mayor Andreu Serra said today that the incident showed that the local police and other security forces are well prepared to handle such a situation. The local police were the first on the scene, he explained, and immediately cordoned the area off. Serra stressed that in the first moments after an incident of Wednesday night's nature it is crucial that the scene of the crime is secured. "The local police did very well, and I am proud of them."

At the scene, though, it would seem that Guardia investigators did not find any bullet casings.

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Lawrie / Hace over 5 years

I think you'll find the police are spot on. The deputy mayor praised the speed of the response etc. What did you want, nobody in attendance?

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Ian Mc Cabe / Hace over 5 years

The police should get their facts right before making any stupid insinuations. Lord Mayor is proud ? proud of what?

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