Sunday, 13 April 2008

City centre shooting part of gang feud

Sunday Tribune

Mick McCaffrey
GARDAI say the intended victim of a drive-by shooting in which the wrong house was targeted was a senior member of the drug gang controlled by "Fat" Freddie Thompson.

Sean McDermott and his daughter were sitting in the living room of their home in Portland Row in Dublin one week ago when eight shots were fired through the window.

The rounds, which were fired by a gunman travelling in a passing car, narrowly missed the pair. Gardai say the real target was a man in his 20s who had been in a nearby house minutes before.

The man had been involved in an incident six weeks ago, as revealed in the Sunday Tribune, in which he inflicted a bad beating on another member of the Thompson gang.

The victim of the beating . . . a close associate of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch . . . was stripped and beaten in the toilet of a city centre hotel. He was later arrested after kicking in the window of a taxi which stopped to pick him up. He is regarded as a serious criminal and is believed to have been behind at least one gangland murder.

Following his public humiliation he swore he would murder both Freddie Thompson and his attacker, the intended victim of last week's shooting. The drug gang had been meeting to discuss the implications of the murder of one of their friends, Paddy Doyle, in Spain the previous week.

Gardai suspect Hutch's friend, or one of his associates, saw the gang member in Portland Row last Sunday and armed themselves with a shotgun. It is suspected the gunman had been drinking in a pub before the attack. They didn't determine which house their target was in and discharged the weapon at the wrong house.

Gardai say the McDermotts could easily have been killed or seriously injured during the incident. They are worried at what is being viewed as a serious escalation in the feud that has ripped Thompson's gang apart.

Thompson has been described as a "dead man walking" after both the criminal involved in these latest attacks and the INLA took out contracts on his life.

The 27-year-old is also in danger from a rival drugs gang, based in Drimnagh, with which he has been involved in a longrunning bloody feud.

Eleven people have now died as part of the dispute.
April 13, 2008

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