The man shot by gardaí in a pub in Cork after he brandished a loaded shotgun was on temporary release from prison, it is understood.

Anthony O'Leary, in his 30s and from Gurrenabraher in Cork, was serving a two-year prison sentence for theft at Cork prison but was let out at the beginning of May on temporary release.

Armed with a shotgun, he entered Mo Chuisle Pub on Cork's Blarney Street at 6.40pm. His uncle died in tragic circumstances outside the pub in 2008. The shotgun was loaded and O'Leary "waved it around" in the direction of the pub's five patrons and demanded to see the owner.

Gardaí had received intelligence that a man with a shotgun was in the area. Cork-based members of the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) arrived at the pub shortly after O'Leary entered it "shouting and roaring".

Officers told him repeatedly to put down the shotgun. When he refused and gardaí formed the opinion he was going to fire his gun, he was shot once in the stomach by an officer with a Sig semi-automatic pistol. He remains at Cork University Hospital (CUH), where his condition is serious but stable.

O'Leary is a nephew of Anthony Hennessy (41), of Gurrenabraher in Cork, who died outside Mo Chuisle pub in March 2008. He died from compression of the neck with acute alcohol consumption as a contributory factor.

The owner of the pub was acquitted of a charge of endangerment in relation to Hennessy's death.