Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Streets where the gun rules and life is cheap

Tuesday March 28 2006
Availability of weapons turning gangland feuds into bloody battles



THE last six months have seen gangland violence erupt on an unprecedented scale throughout the capital and its surrounding areas.

The high-speed M50 shooting was just the latest in a series of bloody, often lethal, incidents of gun violence around Dublin.

The violence has gone hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of gangs around the city, with previously existing groups often splitting acrimoniously, and with the availability of cheap weaponry.

West of the city/Blanchardstown/Clonsilla/Clondalkin

Less than three weeks ago, the body of Shay Bradley (28) was found in a laneway off Blackhorse Avenue, having been shot three times. Bradley, a Derry native, was was believed to have been the driver of a getaway car in a botched shooting last September where an innocent man was shot in the Polly Hops pub in Newcastle, Co Dublin. The actual target of the Polly Hops shooting, Owen McCarthy, was subsequently shot dead near the Wicklow gap last November over what was believed to be a drug debt.

In September last year, Mark Glennon (32) was murdered in the driveway of his Dublin home. The shooting followed a bloody personal battle between two factions which had formerly been linked and were destined to take over from the notorious Westies gang. Last month, gardai mounted raids across Dublin after 22-year-old Dara McCormack was shot in the back by two men in Clonsilla. It is thought he owed money to a a drug trafficker. At the start of this month a group of men and women were arrested for questioning about the murder of settled traveller John Cunningham Jr last November.


The country was repulsed by the brutally callous murder of young mother Donna Cleary in Coolock, when shots were fired indiscriminately from a 9mm pistol into a house after a group were not allowed into a party.

Subsequently Dwayne Foster, the prime suspect in the case, died in garda custody due to congestion of the lungs.

Also at the start of this month, a man survived a fourth attempt on his life after being shot while walking into his home with his three-year-old daughter.

Graham Stewart was hit once in the thigh in the incident off the Greencastle road in Coolock.

In a separate incident in December, attempts by the mothers of two rival factions to end a bloody feud in the Coolock area failed after a man was blasted twice in the leg with a sawn-off shotgun.

David Brady (24), from Millbrook in Coolock, was not a member of either gang but was believed to have been shot because he was a friend of some of the suspected members.

There had been several shootings and stabbings as part of the feud over the past three years.

Both factions are from the Coolock area and most of those involved are well known to gardai from their criminal activities in the past.


Noel Roche (27) was shot dead near the Yacht pub in Clontarf when the black Ford Mondeo in which he was travelling was sprayed with bullets on Clontarf Road in November.

It was the latest death in the Crumlin gang war. Two other men - Darren Geoghegan (26), from Lissadell Drive, Drimnagh; and Gavin Byrne (30), from Windmill Park, Crumlin - were murdered as they waited in a car at a housing estate in Firhouse a few days earlier.

Geoghegan was suspected of being responsible for the murder of John Roche (24), who was originally from Clonmacnoise Road, Dublin, and was shot in the chest as he left his parked car at Military Road in Kilmainham on March 10, 2005. John Roche's brother Noel was shot dead as part of the same feud two days earlier.


Just before Christmas, Ian McConnell was murdered outside his flat in Ballymun. He was shot in the head with a single shotgun blast.

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