Sunday, 31 August 2008

Gangland killers getting away with murder

Sunday Tribune

In the 11 years since Bertie Ahern vowed to hunt down gangland murderers, there have been 127 killings but just 14 convictions. With assassinations spiralling out of control, the government looks on while the gangs carry on, safe in the knowledge that their crime is highly unlikely to be punished
Ali Bracken Crime Correspondent
Shot (FROM TOP): Forensic officers at the scene of the double murder of Eddie Ward (an unintended victim) and Brian Downes in Walkinstown in October 2007; the scene where criminal Gerard Byrne was gunned down outside in the IFSC in Dublin in December 2006; the body of John Berney is carried from a family home after a double shooting; the scene where Dublin criminal John Daly was shot dead in Finglas, north Dublin in October 2007 PA Wire
Shot (FROM TOP): Forensic officers at the scene of the double murder of Eddie Ward (an unintended victim) and Brian Downes in Walkinstown in October 2007; the scene where criminal Gerard Byrne was gunned down outside in the IFSC in Dublin in December 2006; the body of John Berney is carried from a family home after a double shooting; the scene where Dublin criminal John Daly was shot dead in Finglas, north Dublin in October 2007 PA Wire
Shot (FROM TOP): Forensic officers at the scene of the double murder of Eddie Ward (an unintended victim) and Brian Downes in Walkinstown in October 2007; the scene where criminal Gerard Byrne was gunned down outside in the IFSC in Dublin in December 2006; the body of John Berney is carried from a family home after a double shooting; the scene where Dublin criminal John Daly was shot dead in Finglas, north Dublin in October 2007 PA Wire
Shot (FROM TOP): Forensic officers at the scene of the double murder of Eddie Ward (an unintended victim) and Brian Downes in Walkinstown in October 2007; the scene where criminal Gerard Byrne was gunned down outside in the IFSC in Dublin in December 2006; the body of John Berney is carried from a family home after a double shooting; the scene where Dublin criminal John Daly was shot dead in Finglas, north Dublin in October 2007 PA Wire
1 2 3 4 5 In 1997, then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern declared war on Ireland's emerging gangland culture and issued a stark warning to organised criminals: "Our plan is to arrest you, prosecute you and put you in jail."
Eleven years on, the war between criminals is as bad as ever while the government has completely failed to stem the bloodshed.
Instead of effective intervention, the state has played the part of startled eye-witness to the increasing carnage that saw just two gangland killings in 1997 rise to an all-time high of 19 in 2006 and 10 so far this year.
A Sunday Tribune analysis of murders since 1997 shows there have been 127 gang-related killings since Fianna Fáil made its fateful promise and just 14 convictions have been secured – a 9% detection rate.
While men are awaiting trial for two gangland murders and more people could face charges as many of these investigations are in the early stages, one-in-nine convictions for gangland executions is nonetheless a grim statistic.
It also ensures that organised criminals will continue to kill each other relatively unperturbed by fear of getting caught.
Since Fianna Fáil went into government in 1997, 548 murder enquiries have been launched by gardaí, meaning that gangland killings have accounted for less than a quarter of murders in the past 11½ years.
Professional murderers
The conviction rate for gangland murders compared with other killings is significantly lower; it's notoriously difficult to bring a successful prosecution for this crime.
"Often when there's a gangland murder, the criminal in question had many enemies," according to a Dublin detective, well-seasoned in murder investigations. "So it takes us a long time to piece together the many possible reasons they were wanted dead. But the main problem is that these murders are often well-planned and meticulously carried out. They've covered their tracks by getting rid of the murder weapon and the getaway car. This is a far cry from investigating a murder of passion such as a husband killing his wife in the heat of the moment, which often throws up plenty of evidence."
Another problem is that gangland criminals increasingly hire hitmen to assassinate their enemies in order to keep their hands clean. "Often, we can establish motive and develop a clear idea of who we believe ordered the murder. But if criminals have hired hitmen from eastern Europe or somewhere to kill a man at 10am, they're often back on a plane to wherever they came from by lunchtime."
Public apathy
Another tactic is the use of drug addicts to carry out assassinations, often to pay off a bad debt, but a professional job is not necessarily guaranteed. "They'll order junkies who owe them a couple of hundred euro to kill someone for them. Sometimes they'll threaten to kill them unless they do it. But junkies can often make a mess of it, they're not trained killers. Some of these criminals are clever enough to be counting on that. They often just want the message to get out they're planning to have someone murdered," the garda continued.
By and large, the public is apathetic to gangland killings. A proportion of our society shrugs when they hear the news: "Sure, it's only scumbags killing other scumbags," is a commonly held view.
But when innocent victims get caught in the criminals' crossfire – such as mother-of-one Donna Cleary in 2006 and young apprentice plumber Anthony Campbell killed alongside crime boss Martin 'Marto' Hyland the same year – people suddenly find their voices and remonstrate about the modern scourge of gangland crime. That's when the pressure is piled on gardaí to track down the killers.
"I'm struck by the ambiguous response we have as a society to these types of murders," said Jonathan Culleton, lecturer in sociology and criminal justice at Waterford Institute of Technology's (WIT) centre for social and family research.
"On the one hand, it heightens our fears about the type of society we live in where gangs are butchering each other. But on the other hand, people are almost satisfied that criminals are killing each other. There's a feeling of 'they live by the sword, let them die by the sword'.
"But as soon as an innocent bystander gets caught up in it, there's public outrage. A sub-section has developed in our society where criminals exist and live by a different set of rules to the rest of us. They have an inherent logic, which is completely unfulfilling, that 'if you shoot my guy, I'll shoot your guy'. That's horrifying to the rest of us."
Climate of fear
The perception has been created that gangland activity is spiralling out of all control but in truth, Ireland doesn't have a huge gang problem when compared with other western countries, he added.
"If you believed everything you read in the tabloids, you'd think we were living in south central LA. Nothing sells tabloid newspapers like crime and they are profiting from it," Culleton added.
"But they are creating a climate of fear and giving the impression these criminals are untouchable. This is creating a major problem for the gardaí and the criminal justice system. They are only ever seen as reacting to the problem when it occurs. But if there is a solution to gangland crime, it's never been found. Zero tolerance in New York might have removed the visible element but the view that organised crime is gone from New York is absurd."
Government failure
The recent cut in garda overtime has led detectives to privately voice concerns that gangs have had free rein to go about their business without fear of reprisal. And the government's failure to dent the activity of gangland criminality in any real sense has made them sitting ducks for the opposition, always eager to score points.
"The failure of Fianna Fáil to tackle gangland crime and gun murders is one of the biggest failures of their 11 years in office," Labour leader Eamon Gilmore told the Sunday Tribune.
"What these figures show is that those who order or carry out gangland murders do so safe in the knowledge that there is only a small chance that they will be convicted. A much more focused approach is required if we are to stop these killings and put the gangs out of business. Promises of new anti-gang legislation in the programme for government have not materialised. Legislation to give the gardaí additional powers in regard to electronic surveillance has not been published, while the government has consistently refused to put the witness protection programme on a statutory basis, despite strong advice from the courts that this should be done."
Fine Gael's justice spokesman, Charlie Flanagan, has been another outspoken critic of the government's record on gang crime. Following two gangland assassinations within 24 hours last month, he sought the non-stop surveillance of gangland bosses. Easier said than done, mocked some senior detectives – many gangland figures are living in the Costa Del Sol.
While the politicians bluster about what has and hasn't been done, gardaí on the ground are dealing with the realities the violence is creating, the heartbroken families and tit-for-tat killings.
While gangland killings are spiralling, so too is the general murder rate. And resources are deployed in direct response depending on who's been killed and the circumstances of their death. The pressure is on gardaí to catch the killers in high-profile cases, particularly among the middle classes. When young Terenure student Brian Murphy was kicked to death outside Club Anabel in Dublin 2002, someone had to be held accountable. Similarly with the murder of young mother-of-two Rachel O'Reilly, who was beaten to death by her husband in 2004. Even the murder of Kenyan Farah Swaleh Noor, whose decapitated body was found in Dublin's Royal Canal in 2005, captivated our attention and fuelled the subsequent garda reaction.
Although Noor wasn't middle-class or portrayed as an innocent victim, his murder was gruesome enough to make us take notice. It's true that these killings are etched into our minds because of the high-profile criminal trials that ensued. But how many of us remember the name of Ireland's latest murder victim, a gangland criminal shot just eight days ago in a pub in Finglas?
2 killings
no convictions
1. June 1997: Timothy Rattigan was shot in the head with a 9mm gun in a Dublin bookies' shop in a gangland killing. No conviction.
2. 30 November 1997: Dublin drug-dealer Anthony 'Chester' Beatty was murdered by his associates. Martin Comerford was due to go on trial for the murder but was himself killed in a gangland feud in 1999. No conviction.
4 killings
no convictions
1. 11 January: Eamon O'Reilly was shot in a pub in Finglas, north Dublin, in a gangland killing. No conviction.
2.. 27 April 1998: Thomas 'Tucker' Lockard (34) was found bound, tortured and stabbed to death near the border in Co Louth. He had been part of a cross-Border drugs gang and had worked for the Garda as a valuable informant. However, his associates might not have known of his work with the Garda and he could have been killed as a result of an internal dispute in the gang over a consignment of cannabis and ecstasy which he was supposed to have smuggled into the North from Britain. No conviction.
3.. 21 June 1998: Sinéad Kelly (21) from Santry was stabbed to death as she worked as a prostitute on the banks of the Grand Canal near Baggot Street, Dublin. She was a heroin addict and small-time dealer who owed money to a north Dublin drugs gang whose leader ordered her murder. No conviction.
4. 21 November 1998: Gerard Moran (35), a drug dealer, was shot dead in Dublin. No conviction.
12 killings
one conviction
1. 7 January 1999: Taxi driver John Dillon (35), shot dead outside his Finglas home in a gangland killing. No conviction.
2. 27 January 1999: Drug dealer Paschal Boland (43), murdered outside his home in Blanchardstown. No conviction.
3. 24 March 1999: Traveller Matthew Hand (32), shot dead in Mulhuddart, West Dublin, as part of a feud between two families. No conviction.
4. 31 March 1999: Thomas Reilly (35), shot dead in the car park of Premier Dairies in Rathfarnham, where he worked. Gang related. No conviction.
5. 26 April 1999: Martin Comerford (36), from Ranelagh was shot dead hours before he was due to stand trial for gangland murder of Anthony "Chester" Beatty in 1997. Paul McCarthy serving life sentence.
6. 10 May 1999: Traveller Patrick Ward (38), shot dead at a funeral in Ballymote, Co Sligo, as part of an ongoing Traveller feud. Conviction overturned.
7. 16 May 1999: Traveller Thomas Harty (26), shot dead in front of his wife as part of the same Traveller feud at a halting site at Ballymorris, Co Laois. No conviction.
8. 29 June 1999: Kevin Fennell (23), shot dead at his home in Tallaght. Gardaí believe his murder was drug and gang related. No conviction.
9. 16 August 1999: Newry-based businessman Richard McFerran (44), shot dead in Dundalk because of a dispute over drugs and smuggling. No conviction.
10. Between 5-15 August 1999: Noel Heffernan (35) had been hooded, gagged, bound, and badly beaten before being shot near Dublin airport. He had fallen foul of a notorious drug baron for whom he had sold cannabis. No conviction.
11. October 1999: Patrick Campbell (22) died after being stabbed to death following a row between the INLA and a Dublin drug dealer at a warehouse in the Ballymount Industrial Estate in West Dublin. No conviction.
12. November 1999: Joseph Vickers (43) was found near the north beach in Greystones. He had been stabbed in the chest. He was found with marks and lacerations on his body near his burnt out caravan. He had prior convictions for the supply of heroin and is believed to have been murdered by a drugs gang. No conviction.
12 killings
two convictions
1. 9 January 2000: Darren Carey (19), shot and dumped in the Grand Canal in Co Meath. He was a suspected drugs courier. No conviction.
2. 10 January 2000: Patrick Murray (20), found dead in the Grand Canal in Karneystown, Co Meath. He was a suspected drugs courier for a major gang. No conviction.
3. 26 February 2000: Joseph Foran (38), shot dead in Finglas in a gangland killing. No conviction.
4. 29 April 2000: Patrick Neville (31), shot dead in Inchicore as part of an INLA feud. No conviction.
5. 30 April 2000: Thomas Byrne (41), shot dead outside a pub in central Dublin on the orders of an IRA godfather. No conviction.
6. 13 May 2000: Drug dealer Derek Benson (33), shot dead in Ballymun as part of a feud. Jacqueline Noble and Paul Hopkins serving life sentences.
7. 19 June 2000: Billy Power (29), died after being shot at a Limerick building site along with two of his friends as part of a feud. No conviction.
8. 28 July 2000: Publican Stephen Connolly (26), shot dead in Dundalk after refusing to pay INLA protection money. No conviction.
9. 19 August 2000: Nicky O'Hare (35), shot dead in Dundalk by the INLA. O'Hare in charge of gang extorting cash from Stephen Connolly. No conviction.
10. 12 November 2000: Well-known Limerick criminal Eddie Ryan Snr (40), shot dead in Moose bar. First killing in ongoing Limerick feud. Paul Coffey serving 15 years for manslaughter.
11. 14 November 2000: Francis Fitzgerald (26), shot dead through the bedroom window of his home in Cabra by Dublin criminal gang. No conviction.
12. Martin Nolan, from Tramore in Waterford, disappeared in November 1999, only days before he was due to appear at Waterford Circuit Court to face charges relating to the sale and supply of drugs. His body was discovered in July 2000 at Clondonnell Wood, in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains, and his murder is believed to be gang-related. No conviction .
7 killings
two convictions,
one man awaiting trial
1. 25 August: Drimnagh man Declan Gavin (20) stabbed to death outside a fast-food outlet. A man is awaiting trial for his murder.
2. 7 June 2001: Kieran O'Flynn (39), shot outside his home in Thorndale, Co Cork. His murder was drugs-related. No conviction.
3. 14 July 2001: Gangland figure Séamus 'Shavo' Hogan (40), shot dead in Crumlin. He was a close associate of the 'The General' Martin Cahill. No conviction.
4. 24 August 2001: Michael Rosney (25), shot dead after a house party in Belmont, Co Offaly. Oliver Coleman serving 12 years for manslaughter.
5. 21 November 2001: Gerard Fitzgerald (48), shot dead in Finglas by a north Dublin criminal gang. No conviction.
6. 22 December 2001: Simon Doyle (22), shot dead outside his home in Clondalkin as part of a drugs dispute. No conviction.
7. 26 December 2001: Joseph Cummins (48), shot three times in Tallaght as part of a personal dispute. Shay Wildes serving life sentence.
9 killings
one conviction
1. 1 February 2002: David McGreevey (23), shot dead outside his home in Tallaght over a drugs dispute. No conviction.
2. 28 April 2002: Gangland figure Maurice 'Bo Bo' Ward (56), shot dead at his home in Ronanstown, west Dublin. No conviction.
3. 22 May 2002: Derek Lodge (26), shot outside his parents' house in Crumlin. His murder part of a drugs feud between two local gangs. No conviction.
4. 16 June 2002: Stephen O'Hara (24), shot dead by a local drug dealer in Clonsilla, west Dublin. No conviction.
5. 16 July 2002: Joseph Rattigan (18), murdered outside his home in Crumlin as part of local drug feud. No conviction.
6. 25 November 2002: Stephen Byrne (39), from Inchicore shot and dumped in a forest near Tallaght in a gangland murder. No conviction.
7. 29 November 2002: Security man Brian Fitzgerald (34), shot dead in Limerick. James Cahill serving life sentence.
8. Qiu Hong Xiang (19) stabbed to death with meat cleavers in a Triad gang attack. No conviction.
9. Chen Li Ming (22) died after he was subjected to a brutal assault by a Triad gang in Crumlin, south Dublin. No conviction.
16 killings
tw0 convictions,
one awaiting trial
1. January 2003: car dealer Seán Poland (39), shot dead as he opened his front door in Ardnacrusha, Co Clare. The same Limerick crime gang responsible for murder of security man Brian Fitzgerald the year before are believed to be responsible. No conviction.
2. 23 January 2003: Taxi driver and crime figure Niall Mulvihill (57), shot dead in central Dublin as he drove his car. No conviction.
3. 28 January 2003: Raymond Salinger (40), died after a gangland attack while he sat drinking with friends in a pub on New Street, in Dublin's south city centre. No conviction.
4. 29 January 2003: Kieran Keane (42), shot in the back of the head in murder linked to Limerick drugs feud. Five men serving life sentences.
5. 24 March 2003: Charles Merriman (26), found close to Dublin Airport after being shot once in the back of the head execution-style. No conviction.
6. April 2003: Drug dealer Declan Griffin (32), murdered by a hitman as he drank at a pub in Kilmainham. One man awaiting trial.
7. 12 April 2003: Paul Ryan (27), shot dead in Coolderry, Co Offaly. He was originally from Raheny in Dublin and fell foul of a Dublin drugs gang. No conviction.
8. April 2003: Michael Scott (25) is shot dead in the Ballymun-Finglas feud. The killing was linked to an altercation at a cider party in Finglas just hours before he was killed. The murder three months later of Willie O'Regan is believed to have been a revenge attack for Scott's killing. No conviction.
9. 14 June 2003: Ronald Draper (25). He was shot dead while working as a doorman at Charlie P's pub in Eden Quay, Dublin. He was a member of a Dublin criminal gang that was involved in a high-profile gang fight with the INLA at the Ballymount Industrial Estate in west Dublin in 1999, during which a man with links to the INLA was killed. No charges.
10. 19 June 2003: Willie O'Regan (34), shot dead at his house in Cabra. He was a well-known criminal. Trial of accused collapses, no conviction.
11. 7 July 2003: John Ryan (47), shot dead as he carried out work on a house in Thomondgate, Limerick. His murder linked to ongoing Limerick feud. No conviction.
12. 8 July 2003: David McGuinness (35), was shot three times after he opened the front door of his home in Tallaght in a gangland hit. He was not considered a major gangland figure. No conviction.
13. 17 August 2003: Bernard Sugg (23), a leading member of the infamous 'Westies' criminal gang, shot dead as he drank in the Brookwood Inn, Corduff. No conviction.
14. 9 October 2003: Peter Sheridan (27), was shot three times and dumped in a field at Scribblestown Lane near Finglas. He was murdered by a drug dealer. No conviction.
15. 20 October 2003: Michael Campbell McNamara (23), murdered as part of the ongoing Limerick gang feud. No conviction.
16. 11 November 2003: Jason Tolan (24), died after being shot in the leg in Mulhuddart, Dublin 15. He was an associate of the Westies gang. Thomas Murphy serving eight-year sentence for manslaughter.
7 killings
three convictions
1. 1 February 2004: Kenneth Byrne (30), shot dead gangland-style in Dolphin's Barn. He was a convicted armed robber. No conviction.
2. 25 February 2004: Paul Warren (23), shot dead in the toilet of a pub in Newmarket Square in Dublin's city centre. Murder linked to Crumlin feud. No conviction.
3. 7 March 2004: Brendan Cox (40), murdered in a gangland assassination in Ballyfermot, south Dublin. No conviction.
4. 17 April 2004: Jonathan O'Reilly (24), shot dead outside Cloverhill Prison in a gangland attack. Thomas Hinchon and Brian Kenny serving life sentences for murder.
5. August 9th 2004: Martin O'Donoghue (35) was stabbed to death in a pub in Limerick by gangland figure Declan McNamara, who is serving a life sentence for his murder.
6. August 23, 2004: Michael Faulkner (43) died after being stabbed with a slash hook by Michael McCarthy (24) in Tralee. The two familes had been involved in a feud for 14 years, and no-one can recall how it started. McCarthy was convicted of assault causing harm in 2006 and a member of the McCarthy family called for an end to the "futile" feud during the trial.
7. 21 November 2004: Paul Cunningham (23), shot dead in his mother's home in Blanchardstown as part of a gangland feud. No conviction.
16 killings
one conviction
1. 9 March 2005: John Roche (24), shot dead outside his apartment in Kilmainham. His murder is linked to the feud between the Crumlin/Drimnagh drugs gangs. No conviction.
2. 14 April, 2005: Terence Dunleavy (27), shot in the head at Croke Villas, Ballybough. His murder also linked to Crumlin/Drimnagh feud. No conviction.
3. April 28: Traveller Hughie McGinley (26) was shot dead in Sligo Town as part of an ongoing feud between two local family-based gangs. Both gangs are involved in crime, mainly drug-related. No conviction.
4. 31 April 2005: Notorious drug dealer Andrew 'Madser' Glennon (30), shot dead in Blanchardstown after going to meet associates. No conviction.
5. 14 May 2005: Martin Kenny (22), shot dead at his girlfriend's home in Ballyfermot. It is suspected he was killed after agreeing to store drugs for a major dealer. No conviction.
6. 27 May 2005: Anthony Creed (36), shot dead at his home in Clondalkin. He was associated with drug dealers and was killed after falling out with a number of criminals. No conviction.
7. August 10: Vincent O'Brien (53), a small-time drug dealer, was shot dead at his home in Bray, Co Wicklow. He had clashed with another criminal figure a number of years before his death. No conviction.
8. 13 August 2005: Eric Cummins (29), shot dead in a gangland-style execution in Ballincollig, Co Cork. He was involved in the drugs trade. No conviction.
9. 18 August 2005: Gang member Andrew Dillon (28), found shot dead in a ditch in Finglas. No conviction.
10.7 September 2005: Drug dealer Mark Glennon (32), murdered in the driveway of his home in Blanchardstown by a rival gang. No conviction.
11. 28 October 2005: David Nunan (25), murdered in Southill, Co Limerick in a gangland attack. No conviction.
12. 4 November 2005: Drug dealer Owen McCarthy (22), found dead in the Wicklow mountains after being murdered over a dispute with a major drug dealer. No conviction.
13. 13 November 2005: Gavin Byrne (30), shot dead as he sat in a car at a housing estate in Firhouse, near Tallaght. His murder linked to Crumlin/Drimnagh feud. No conviction.
14. 13 November 2005: Darren Geoghegan (26), shot dead as he sat in a car at a housing estate in Firhouse, near Tallaght. His murder was linked to Crumlin/Drimnagh feud. No conviction.
15. 8 November: Darren Coughlan (18) was kicked to death by criminals involved in the Limerick feud in a case of mistaken identity. Three well-known criminals are serving sentences for his manslaughter.
16. 15 November 2005: Noel Roche (27), the brother of murdered John Roche, was executed on the Clontarf Road as he drove home from a Phil Collins concert. His murder linked to Crumlin/Drimnagh feud. No conviction.

19 killings
two convictions
1. 11 February 2006: Darragh McCormack (22), shot in the back in Blanchardstown after row with criminal associates. No conviction.
2. 10 March 2006: drug dealer Shay Bradley (27), found shot dead in land at Blackhorse Avenue near Cabra. No conviction.
3. 2 April 2006: Eoin Cahill (25) shot dead after a house party in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, after being singled out by rivals in a bitter local drugs war. Leigh Crowe serving life sentence.
4. 8 May 2006: Lee Kinsella (30), shot dead at his home in Finglas. He was murdered as a result of a long-running feud. No conviction.
5. 10 May 2005: Aidan Kelly (19), shot dead in Moyross, Co Limerick. His killing was gang-related. No conviction.
6. 29 May 2005: Gangland fence Patrick Harte (42), shot dead in Raheny after a row with a major drug dealer. No conviction.
7. 3 June 2005: Keith Fitzsimmons (23), shot dead while with a group of friends in Coolock, north Dublin. Not believed to have been the intended target. No conviction.
8. 19 June 2006: Criminal James Purdue (22), shot dead outside his home in Donaghmede, north Dublin. No conviction.
9. 19 August 2006: Wayne Zambra (21), executed in Dublin's south city-centre. His murder is linked to the Crumlin/Drimnagh drugs feud. No conviction.
10. 2 September 2006: Drug dealer Yohan Verhoeven (31), from Ballybrack, found shot dead in the Wicklow mountains. Man found guilt of his manslaughter.
11. 17 September 2006: Frankie Ryan (21), shot dead while he sat in a car in Moyross, part of the ongoing Limerick drugs feud. No conviction.
12. 26 September 2006: Gary Bryan (31), shot dead by a gunman outside his girlfriend's house in Walkinstown. Murder linked to ongoing Crumlin/Drimnagh feud. No conviction.
13. 13 November 2006: Petty drug dealer Thomas Moran (26), shot in the head in Southill, Limerick, in a gangland killing. No conviction.
14. 22 November 2006: Drug dealer Paul Reay (25), shot dead in Drogheda in a gangland attack. No conviction.
15. 12 December 2006: Drug lord Martin 'Marlo' Hyland (39), executed as he slept at his sister's house in Scribblestown Park, Finglas. No conviction.
16. 12 December 2006: Apprentice plumber Anthony Campbell (20), shot dead as he worked on a radiator in the home of Marlo Hyland's sister. He was totally innocent. No conviction.
17. 13 December 2006: Gerard Byrne (25), shot five times in the head at the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin. Killed as part of a feud between two families. No conviction.
18. 17 December 2006: Noel Crawford (40), shot dead in the O'Malley Park area of Southill, Limerick. He was not the intended target. No conviction.
19. 27 December 2006: Stephen Ledden (28), shot at a flat in Oriel Street in Dublin's north inner city. He was not the intended target. No conviction.
12 killings
no convictions
1. 23 January 2007: Damian Dowdall (22), shot dead in his girlfriend's house in Clondalkin. A south Dublin drug dealer is the prime suspect. No conviction.
2. 2 February 2007: Settled Traveller Thomas McDonagh (28), shot dead by a lone gunman outside his house in Clondalkin. His murder was drug-related. No conviction.
3. 15 March 2007: Gangland figure Robbie O'Hanlon (25) gunned down as he played a football match in Clondalkin. No conviction.
4. 22 March 2007: Drug dealer Roy Coddington (36), lured to a beach at Mornington, Co Meath, where he was shot dead. No conviction.
5. 27 April 2007: Noel Campion (35), murdered in Thomondgate, Co Limerick, as part of the ongoing drug feud in the county. No conviction.
6. 22 May 2007: Drug dealer David Brett (34), was executed in a gangland style killing in the Co Cork village of Ballydesmond after being lured there. No conviction.
7. 22 September 2007: Small-time criminal Derek Duffy (37) shot five times in the head as he sat in a car in Finglas. No conviction.
8. 5 October 2007: Gangland "fixer" Brian Downes (40), shot dead at his garage in Walkinstown, south Dublin. No conviction.
9. 5 October 2007: Traveller Eddie Ward (24), murdered as he worked at Brian Downes's garage in Walkinstown, south Dublin. He was not the intended target. No conviction.
10. 8 October 2007: Gareth Grant (25), murdered in St Mary's Park, Limerick, as part of the ongoing drugs feud in the city. No conviction.
11. 22 October 2007: Armed robber and gangland figure John Daly (27) shot dead as he sat in a taxi with six other people. No conviction.
12. November 2007: The skeletal remains of Richard 'Happy' Kelly are found in an east Clare lake. Gardaí believe the minor criminal was killed by one of the feuding factions who blamed him for stealing one of their cars containing drugs. No conviction.
10 killings
no convictions
One man has been charged but all of the investigations are ongoing
1. January 5 2008: David Lynch (39), a violent armed robber with extensive underworld and drug-smuggling connections, was shot dead in a minivan in Sligo after returning from a day's hunting.
2. February 18 2008: Darren Guerrine (21), Bluebell, Dublin 12, is fatally shot in the head on the banks of the Grand Canal close to his home. A minor criminal and joyrider, the motive for his killing is unclear although drugs links are suspected.
3. March 6 2008: John Berney, a 29-year-old father of four, is shot dead at his home in Castlelyon Drive, Newcastle, west Dublin. A known drug dealer, gardaí believe his killing was drug related.
4. March 8 2008: Richard McCormack (29), Ronanstown, Dublin, is shot dead outside his brother's home, also in Ronanstown. A drug dealer, gardaí believe his killing was in revenge for a fatal shooting 12 months ago for which he was a suspect.
5. April 5 2008: Mark Moloney (40) is shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Garryowen. He was loosely associated with members of the Keane/Collopy gang and gardaí believe he was shot by the McCarthy/Dundons. One man has been charged.
6. April 7 2008: The body of James Cronin (20) is found in a shallow grave on waste ground near the Caledonian Park area of Limerick city. Gardaí believe he was murdered by members of his own gang, the McCarthy/Dundons, and was linked to Mark Moloney's killing.
7. April 18 2008: Anthony Russell (30), a convicted drug dealer and armed robber, was murdered in an execution-type gangland killing as he drank with friends in the Ardlea Inn, Artane, Dublin.
8. July 18 2008: Convicted drug dealer Anthony Foster (34) was shot dead outside his north Dublin home in Coolock. Gardaí believe he was killed because of a row with a drug trafficking gang.
9. July 19: Trevor Walsh (33) was shot four times in the garden of a house in Finglas, north Dublin. He had been released from Mountjoy only the day before his killing and had spent the evening out drinking with friends .
10. August 23 2008: Paul 'Farmer' Martin (39), from Finglas, was shot dead as he sat drinking in the Jolly Toper pub in Finglas. A convicted armed robber and drug dealer, he was an associate of crime boss Martin 'Marlo' Hyland. Gardaí are investigating a number of avenues for his gangland assassination.
August 31, 2008

Monday, 25 August 2008

Clash with crime boss believed to be motive for killing

Clash with crime boss believed to be motive for killing

By Tom Brady and Stephen O'Farrell

Monday August 25 2008

A CLASH with a crime boss earlier this month may have sealed the fate of armed robber Paul "Farmer" Martin who was shot dead in a Dublin pub after a funeral at the weekend.

Martin (39) was shot once in the head and four times in the stomach and shoulder as he mingled with mourners in the Jolly Toper pub on Church Street, in Finglas, on the northside of the capital on Saturday night.

Senior gardai were last night examining a number of theories in a bid to uncover the motive for the callously executed shooting. Detectives were trying to determine if the shooting was linked to a row a few days earlier.

Garda intelligence indicated that Martin, a well-known criminal in the city since his teens, had clashed with a major underworld figure who is now believed to be in charge of the gang formerly led by Martin "Marlo" Hyland.

The suspect joined forces with other leading criminals to take over the remnants of the gang after Hyland was shot dead in Finglas.

The suspect is also believed by detectives to have played a leading part in organising an armed robbery foiled by the gardai last year.

Martin, who was originally from the Cardiffsbridge Road area of Finglas but had lived at several other addresses in the district, had a dozen criminal convictions.

Most of the convictions were for larceny and road traffic offences, but he served a five-year jail sentence after being arrested in connection with the armed hold-up of a Bank of Ireland branch, in Ardee, Co Louth, in November 1997.

Martin had a reputation in gangland circles as a bully and was also known to have issued threats to gardai and intimidated potential witnesses.

One senior garda said last night: "He made a lot of enemies during his criminal career and there is no shortage of suspects who have to be checked out".


Also injured in the attack was another Finglas man, originally from the Kippure Park area. He was drinking with Martin and was hit in the stomach. His condition last night was described as stable.

Two masked men, armed with handguns, threatened the doormen at the pub shortly before 6.30pm on Saturday, and then ran upstairs where the mourners were drinking.

They singled out their victim and pumped five bullets into him, as well as shooting his friend. They sped off in a waiting jeep, which was later found burnt out in the Hampton housing estate, off the Navan Road.

The two victims were rushed to the Mater hospital where Martin was pronounced dead shortly before 8pm.

Gardai initially met a hostile reception when they arrived at the pub, but officers said the tensions were eased quickly.

Last night gardai said they were receiving good co-operation from the patrons of the pub.

But Superintendent John Hartnett issued a fresh appeal to the public for further help.

He described the two gunmen as tall and quite slim. Both were wearing dark-coloured clothing and their faces were covered.

Supt Hartnett said it appeared that a third person had been waiting outside the pub for the gunmen in the getaway vehicle.

Last night detectives were continuing to interview others who had been in the pub at the time and were also examining footage from a CCTV camera outside the premises.

During the past few years, "Farmer" Martin had been associating with members of the Hyland gang but then fell out of favour with them and became an enemy.

"He changed sides in gangs several times as he extended his criminal activities, mainly involving himself in armed robberies and more recently in the drugs trade.

"He had been active on the crime scene since a young age", a detective added, "and was well known to gardai around the city, particularly in relation to robberies and possession of firearms".

Gardai said they were particularly anxious to hear from anybody who spotted the dark coloured getaway vehicle and asked anybody with information to contact them at 01 6667500.

- Tom Brady and Stephen O'Farrell

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Spanish shooting blamed on Dublin gangs' revenge attack

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
The Observer, Sunday 24 August 2008
The gangland war against Dublin criminal John Gilligan has shifted to Spain's Costa del Sol. Gardai believe that the attempted murder of a former member of Gilligan's drugs gang in Andalusia was linked to threats against the crime boss. Peter Mitchell was shot outside a bar on a complex in Puerto Banus, near Marbella, on Thursday night.
Two other people wounded in the shooting were innocent bystanders from Ireland, says the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs. One of the two other victims was a 73-year-old Irishman.
Spanish police were waiting yesterday to interview 39-year-old Mitchell, who is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries. Mitchell, who fled to Spain in 1996, had been one of a number of gangsters targeted in a major state operation against the Gilligan gang.
Security sources in the Republic last night linked the murder bid on the Spanish coast to a new campaign by rival Irish criminals against Gilligan and his associates.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Gilligan was receiving 24-hour protection inside Portlaoise to safeguard him from other prisoners.
Rival criminals are angry over his recent interview in Irish pop magazine Hot Press, via a mobile phone. This contributed to a security crackdown, which has affected the operations of other gang leaders inside.
A Gardai source said: 'Up until then, a number of jailed criminals were still able to run their empires from inside. Now they can't communicate with their teams and they blame Gilligan for that.
'Gilligan was badly beaten up by a young Dublin criminal in front of other inmates. And these rivals are not just prepared to go after him it seems; they have the team and the firepower to hunt down the remaining members of his old gang, most of whom are now in Spain.'
In recent years the Irish underworld, alongside the Russian mafia and British gangsters, have fought for control of the lucrative drugs trade in southern Spain.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Latest spate of murders 'linked' to drug gang

Latest spate of murders 'linked' to drug gang
Gardai believe that new group of young dealers are responsible


Sunday August 17 2008

GARDAI believe that the murders of four men in the past month from the Finglas and Coolock areas of Dublin -- including two cases in which bodies have yet to be found -- are connected to the emergence of a new gang of drug dealers on the north side of the city.

A gang which had dominated the drug scene in the northern and north western suburbs of the city has been pushed out and replaced by a younger gang following the brief spate of killings in five days last month. The ousted gang had previously taken over control of the area in the late 1990s and were associates of John Gilligan's gang.

It marks a significant shift in power in the city's drugs trade with gardai trying to establish if this might lead to further bloodletting.

Sources said that the killings last month marked the swift rise to power of a ruthless gang of young drug dealers, who have now achieved a dominant position in the drugs trade in a large area stretching from Baldoyle to Finglas. This area has been beset by feuding in recent years, but gardai say that last month's violence in which there was at least one attempted murder and four murders appears to have marked the successful takeover by a low-profile but ruthless gang.

On July 18, Anthony Foster, 34, was shot dead as he emerged from his girlfriend's flat at Cromcastel Court, and within 12 hours Trevor Walsh, 33, was shot dead at Valley Park Road in Finglas. Four days later, two men, Alan Napper, 37, and David Lindsay, 36, disappeared and gardai believe they were murdered.

Napper and Lindsay, both with a number of addresses in Moyne Road and Seacliff Road, Baldoyle and Grattan Lodge, Donaghmede, were last reported alive visiting a public house in Clane, Co Kildare. Gardai have yet to establish the exact details of their movements, but admit they have no idea what happened to the two after they were seen in the Clane area on July 23.

Lindsay was arrested and questioned in connection with the kidnapping of Helen Judge in September 2002, but was never charged. At the time, Ms Judge's ex-husband, Liam, was living with John Gilligan's daughter, Tracey, in Spain where he owned the public house known as Judge's Chambers. Gardai said that Liam Judge was running Gilligan's drugs distribution operations in Ireland at the time.

Gardai never fully established why Ms Judge was kidnapped, but suspected that close associates of Gilligan's were behind it.

According to garda sources, it appears that the long-time associates of John Gilligan have now been pushed out of the drugs trade in Dublin.

Gilligan was attacked in Portlaoise Prison last month by a young prisoner and had to be taken into protective custody. One source said that Gilligan has lost his power in the criminal world in Ireland and the new gangs that have emerged have no fear of his remaining network of ageing gangsters.


Garda gangland list is stolen from squad car

Sunday Tribune

Rival gang has document containing feud enemies' names and addresses
Mick McCaffrey
Gardaí have launched an internal inquiry after a highly sensitive intelligence document containing the names, addresses, pictures and car registrations of 20 gangland criminals was stolen from the back of a garda car parked at a Dublin station.
The Sunday Tribune has learned that the highly restricted Criminal Intelligence Bulletin was stolen from a squad car at a south Dublin garda station last Monday evening.
The list contained the names and personal details of key members of a Drimnagh-based gang involved in a feud that has resulted in 11 murders. Over recent months gardaí received information that members of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang have moved to "safe" addresses in some of Dublin's leafiest suburbs, including Stepaside, Blackrock and Leopardstown. Senior management ordered the intelligence document be prepared so that officers would not be taken by surprise if the rival drugs gang involved in the feud with Thompson launched attacks on these addresses.
They were also afraid that innocent people could be caught up in grenade or pipe bomb attacks, which have frequently occurred in the past as part of the dispute.
The completed document was circulated to detectives in the south city and a warning in the bulletin said that it should not be left where members of the public could access it.
However, the document was stolen from an unattended garda vehicle parked in the supposedly secure station yard last Monday.
It is believed a minor figure from the rival gang, which is led by a criminal who is serving a lengthy jail sentence, came across the document during an opportunistic theft.
Gardaí believe it has since been copied and distributed to the main figures in the rival gang, who are deciding what to do with the information.
Senior gardai were immediately informed that the document was stolen and are very concerned.
Since the intelligence was collated, it is thought that several of the 20 named individuals may have moved on. This raises the possibility that totally unwitting and innocent people could be caught up in violence. Detectives have been in discussions as to how to respond to the security breach and are in the process of approaching the people listed in the document to give them security advice.
Less clear are the steps that should be taken if the criminals have moved from the addresses. Gardaí are conscious of needlessly alarming ordinary residents unless it is totally necessary.
In a statement given to the Sunday Tribune, garda spokesperson Kevin Donohoe said: "The gardaí are aware that a criminal intelligence document is in the possession of a member of the public. The document was compiled for garda use only and contains aspects of criminal intelligence, including some personal information.
"Gardaí are endeavouring to contact those named in the document and appropriate advice will be given. The circumstances in which this document ended up outside of the garda organisation is being actively investigated."
August 17, 2008

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Glock handguns and ammo found in swoop on cars

Irish Herald

By Charlie Mallon and Lisa Anne Crookes
Tuesday August 12 2008
Four Glock handguns, the favourite weapon of the crime gangs, have been found after a garda surveillance operation.
Two men were arrested after the Organised Crime Unit intercepted two cars in Dublin's Clondalkin area. Along with the guns, they found 100 rounds of ammunition and four magazines.
Garda sources indicated that those arrested were merely "delivery men" and were probably on their way to a meeting with members of a Blanchardstown criminal gang.
Those detained are aged 35 and 40-years-old. The younger man is from Thornville Estate in Kilbarrack and has a number of minor road traffic convictions.
The 40-year-old is from the Raheen Park area of Ballyfermot and has been before the courts several times on public order charges, burglary and offences connected with the care of horses.
The arrests are significant in that they demonstrate again the movement of the deadly weapons across the city with low level offenders being used as couriers.
The Glock pistol is the favoured weapon of the gangs because of its size. Its manufacturers boast that among the small arms of the world it's the best.
Detectives from several top units have maintained an obvious presence in the Clondalkin, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard areas following a gangland-style shooting behind Cherry Orchard Hospital earlier this month.
The men were stopped as they were driving separate cars on St Bridget's Road in Clondalkin Village yesterday afternoon. They had been under surveillance by members of the Organised Crime Unit who swooped on the two cars and made the arrest at about 4pm.
St Bridget's road is a quiet, residential area of Clondalkin and the daylight raid stunned local residents.
In an attempt to bring growing criminality in the capital under control, gardai have again upped their patrols and intelligence network and the results are starting to show.
Gardai were releasing few details of the arrest for operational reasons .
The suspects are being held at Clondalkin garda station where they were being questioned last night and again this morning.
They can be held for up to 72 hours under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
The West Dublin suburb has seen an increase in both garda and media attention in recent weeks since the shooting of a 20-year-old local man Mark Fagan over the August bank holiday.
In a gangland-style hit, Fagan was taken to a field in the West Dublin suburb where he was shot twice by a gang of hoods.
Members of the garda elite Emergency Response Unit were drafted in after the man was shot having been lured to the field close to Wheatfield Prison and Cherry Orchard Hospital.
- Charlie Mallon and Lisa Anne Crookes

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Shooting victim (20) was on temporary release from jail

Shooting victim (20) was on temporary release from jail

By Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent

Wednesday August 06 2008

A YOUNG shooting victim is fighting for his life, just days after being given temporary release from prison.

Mark Fagan had been sentenced to two months behind bars on July 8 for threatening and drunken behaviour.

However, he was last week let out on temporary release from Mountjoy after serving just half of his sentence.

The 20-year-old was gunned down in a field in Ballyfermot, Dublin, on Monday night.

Five men were last night being questioned by gardai about the shooting, as Fagan remained in a serious but stable condition at St James's Hospital.

Prison Service sources denied Fagan's temporary release was connected to overcrowding issues at Mountjoy.

A source said the shortness of Fagan's sentence, and the relatively minor offence he was incarcerated for, were factors in deciding to allow his temporary release.

However, the Prison Officers Association said Mountjoy was largely overcrowded last week and that temporary release was a practice commonly used to alleviate the problem.


The shooting is believed to have been carried out by associates of a gang leader who is involved in a bitter feud with a rival gang in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area.

However, the attack is not thought to be linked to the feud and may be connected with other matters.

Fagan was shot in the abdomen shortly after 10pm on Monday night in a field at the rear of Wheatfield Prison, in Cherry Orchard.

His assailants left him for dead and drove away in a stolen Honda Civic, which was later found burnt out.

A short time later, officers from the Organised Crime Unit who had been in the area, intercepted two cars and arrested five men, four in their twenties and one aged 39.

The suspects were being questioned last night under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Gardai said they were keeping an "open mind" as to the motive for the attack.

It is not known whether Fagan was abducted and taken to the field, or went there willingly. He refused to cooperate with investigating officers yesterday.

After the attack, gardai sealed off a green area at the back of Cherry Orchard Hospital and also a small part of the hospital grounds itself, as a team of forensic specialists combed the area for clues. Fagan, who has lived at addresses at Windmill Road and Captain's Road in Crumlin, as well as Curlew Road in Drimnagh, and Whitethorn Drive in Palmerstown, has been before the courts on a number of occasions in recent years.


He was convicted in July on one count of threatening and abusive behaviour and one count of intoxication in a public place. A judge handed down consecutive one month sentences for each offence.

He has also been questioned in relation to burglary and car theft.

Last night friends of Fagan exchanged messages on social networking site Bebo about the shooting.

One pal described him as "another fallin soldja. 1 off d best." Another reassured friends, "he's not dead in any way".

It is thought the presence of the Organised Crime Unit in the area may have saved Fagan's life, as they were able to have an ambulance on the scene within minutes.

Gardai have been on alert for several months following a heightening in tensions between rival gangs in the Crumlin and Drimnagh area.

Officers have adopted a heavy policing approach to tackling the gangs and have been closely monitoring the movements of those identified as being involved in the feud.

They have already foiled two attempted gangland hits in recent months.

In April, two men were stopped in a car on O'Connell Street while on their way to assassinate a gang leader in a pub. Officers also intercepted a gunman near the Grand Canal last month.

- Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent