The scene of yesterday's shooting in Dublin

GARDAI are trying to establish a motive after a young father was gunned down outside a packed bookmakers shop yesterday afternoon.

Christy Barry, 24, was shot dead outside Byrne's bookmakers on Killester Avenue in north Dublin just after 2.55pm yesterday afternoon. He was the second gangland murder victim in just five days.

The father of one had been looking forward to his daughter's christening this week before he was callously shot in the professional attack. A lone gunman driving a motorbike appears to have targeted Barry outside a row of shops and fired five shots at him.

At least one – and possibly two – of the shots hit him in the head and the 24-year-old died at the scene before medical attention arrived.

Gardaí sealed off the scene of the shooting while a technical examination took place. A post-mortem was set to be carried out yesterday evening.

A burnt out motorbike which was used in the attack was found at La Vista Avenue in Sutton and a fire brigade truck came to extinguish the flames. Detectives said that Barry, who was from Killester, was known to them and it's understood he had been one of the targets of the high-profile crime initiative, Operation Anvil.

Gardaí said they were pursuing a number of possible motives yesterday. Barry was thought to be an associate of the man suspected of a murder attempt on Martin 'The Viper' Foley earlier this year. They will also be investigating possible links to two other shooting incidents in the area during the past two months.

Anthony Foster, 34, was shot dead in July as he left his flat on his way to collect his children from a local crèche in Coolock, North Dublin.

Foster, who at one stage helped to rehabilitate drug addicts, had been released from prison after serving a six-year sentence for possession of cannabis worth €30,000. Detectives believed that Foster had returned to the drugs trade not long after being released from prison in 2006.

Gardaí in the area also investigated another near fatal gun attack when a man was wounded after being shot at point blank range in nearby Darndale.

One officer said: "It is very early stages yet and what is obvious is that Barry did have criminal connections so all of those will have to be examined."

Locals described Barry as a "grand lad" and said he did not have any connections to organised crime.

They said it was a tragedy for his family and particularly his mother who lost another son to illness a number of years ago.

It was the second fatal shooting in the space of a week, following the murder of second-hand car dealer Christy McDonagh in Ronanstown, West Dublin.