Monday, 20 October 2008

Tensions soar after gangland victim dies in hail of bullets

Tensions soar after gangland victim dies in hail of bullets

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Monday October 20 2008

A man was shot dead outside a fish and chip shop in Dublin city centre last night -- the fourth victim of a deadly feud that has been running for three years.

Gardai believe the gunman made his escape on a bicycle. The victim was named locally last night as 24-year-old Gavin McCarthy, of Oriel Street, Dublin.

He was well known to local detectives and was a suspect for at least one shooting carried out on behalf of one of the feuding gangs.

Last night's shooting took place around 9pm, across the road from Noctor's pub in Sheriff Street. McCarthy was believed to have been shot several times in the face with a handgun.

The fatal shot is thought to have struck him in the mouth.

McCarthy was rushed by car to the Mater Hospital but was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Gardai are working on the theory that he is the latest victim of a feud that has resulted in armed patrols on the streets of the north inner city since 2005. It erupted after a girl claimed she had been raped. Gang leader Christy Griffin was later sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the incident.

McCarthy is thought to have been an associate of the Griffin gang. Gardai said he was an active gang member and that he was suspected of being involved in drugs in the north city.

The first victim of the feud was Gerard 'Batt' Byrne, who was shot in the Irish Financial Services Centre on December 13, 2006. Two weeks later, Stephen Ledden was shot dead in Oriel Street.

Members of the Emergency Response Unit were immediately sent on round-the-lock patrols in the tension-filled area and to prevent bloodshed.

But there were several shootings and pipebomb attacks in the north inner city and Finglas as part of the feud.

Last April another Griffin associate, Anthony Russell (30), was shot dead in the Ardilea pub in Artane where he was attending a function following a funeral.

Last month, 24-year-old Christy Barry, from Killester, north Dublin was shot once in the face by a lone gunman who targeted him at a bookmakers on Killester Avenue.

He was the 14th gangland murder victim so far this year.

Gardai said last night's gunman may have had an accomplice. Officers described the area as very tense and extra gardai were drafted into the area as a major investigation got under way.

- Tom Brady Security Editor

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