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.


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