Criminal gang leader Eamon Dunne grabbed a lounge boy and tried to shield himself before he was shot dead in a Dublin pub, the Dublin Coroner's Court heard today.

The court was told that Dunne was shot dead while attending the birthday party of a friend at the Faussagh House pub four years ago.

The inquest recorded the cause of his death as an unlawful killing by persons unknown.

Witnesses said two gunmen walked into the pub on 23 April 2010 and shouted "down, down, everybody down", before firing a volley of shots at the 34-year-old father.

Lounge boy Jen Tiang said he was waiting there to be paid for a round of drinks when Dunne grabbed him and tried to hide himself.

John Fairbrother, whose birthday party Dunne was attending, said someone must have sent a text from the pub that night, outlining exactly where Dunne was sitting, because "to get that right was very strange".

He said there were more than 20 people there and it was unbelievable that no one else was hit.

Mr Fairbrother told the court today that Dunne gave him an Armani watch as a present.

He said he did not seem to be in fear of his life and, that while Dunne did not know too many there, they would have known him from the papers.

Mr Fairbrother said Dunne was supposed to bring the cake, but it never arrived and he must not have bothered.

The detective inspector in charge of the investigation told the court that four men were involved in the murder, three got out and a driver remained in the car.

The shooting was captured on CCTV.

Two gunmen went into the pub and one remained outside, with one witness saying he held a gun to the head of a customer outside.

The post-mortem examination showed Dunne was hit with eight bullets.

He was shot twice in the back of the head and six bullets were recovered from his body.

In total, 12 shots were fired.

The detective inspector said it was a targeted killing. He said Dunne was singled out and that there had been a number of threats on his life over the years.

He said a file had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to a number of associated matters, but the murder inquiry was still ongoing.