Thursday, 22 June 2006

Gardai home in on gangs for clues to murder

By Tom Brady

Thursday June 22 2006
THUGS from three local gangs are on a suspect list drawn up by gardai investigating the brutal murder of a Dublin man.

James Perdue, a father of one, was known as a "hard chaw" but not regarded as a major criminal in his native Coolock and senior officers said last night they had not established a firm motive for the shooting in nearby Donaghmede early last Monday morning.

But they were closely examining members of three crime gangs based in the Coolock area.

Mr Perdue (22), who was from Belcamp Crescent in Priorswood, had been staying with his girlfriend and their three-year-old daughter at Grattan Wood in Donaghmede.

He left the apartment shortly after midnight to buy food at a local chipper and was returning half an hour later when a gunman stepped out of the shadows and shot him in the side and in the leg with a small calibre handgun.

The victim is known to have been associating loosely with a big drugs trafficker who is operating in the Coolock area. The gang boss, who is in his 30s, is now living in Cavan but keeps in close touch with associates on the northside of the capital. He has no criminal convictions for drug dealing.

Detectives are examining whether there had been a recent row between those associates and members of any other rival gang. They are also trying to establish if Mr Perdue owed a debt to a criminal.

And they are again studying a file on the disappearance of a friend of Mr Perdue, Patrick Lawlor, who went missing from his home in Darndale in December 2004 and has not been seen anywhere since then.

This followed the garda discovery of a drugs haul, to which Mr Lawlor was allegedly linked, in June 2004 in Donabate.

His car was found near Dublin airport the day after he disappeared and a fresh search for his body was carried out in Malahide earlier this month. A number of criminals were to subsequently allege that his disappearance had been in some way connected with the drugs seizure of June 2004.

Gardai have ruled out any connection between the shooting and any of the five other murders that have taken place in the area since February.

- Tom Brady

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