Monday, 20 October 2008

Who's next in city feud that's claimed four lives so far?

Irish Herald

By Lisa-Anne Crookes
Monday October 20 2008
NOW that the north inner city feud has been ignited again, the question is inevitably: when will the next murder be?
The shooting dead of Gavin McCarthy is the fourth murder in the inner city feud sparked by Christy Griffin's shocking abuse of his partner's child.
The ongoing feud between two north Dublin gangs saw its first murder in December 2006 with the shooting of Gerald "Batt" Byrne.
Byrne was shot after details of the shocking abuse by the drug dealer and armed robber on the young girl emerged in 2005.
Griffin is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of the brutal rape but the allegations caused a split between former allies.
One sided with drug dealer and armed robber, Griffin. The other side went with the girl's family.
"Batt" Byrne, from Ferryman's Crossing, was shot once in the head and five times in the chest as he passed a Mace shop in the IFSC on December 13, 2006.
He was killed by associates of Griffin who, gardai believe, targeted him because they feared he was about to stage an attack on them.
In what is widely believed to have been a revenge attack, Stephen Ledden (28), was shot dead as he slept on a couch in his mother's home at Oriel Street just two days after Christmas that year.
Ledden was a pal of many of the gang members, but sources say he was not the target, and was mistaken for another man.
Both killings took place during Griffin's trial. It was an uneasy time for both sides and gardai, who feared an all-out war on the streets of Dublin as a result of the feud, saturated the area around Sheriff Street with the backing of the armed ERU and helicopter surveillance.
The pressure appeared to have worked for more than a year as the feuding gangs kept a much lower profile with fewer attacks.
But the bitter hatred between the two sides had not been quelled. The next victim of the inner city feud came in 2007, when 30-year-old Anthony Russell was shot dead in the Ardilea pub in Artane on April 18, as he was attending a function following a funeral.
It is believed that Russell was a close associate of Christy Griffin.
The feud has been ongoing since the arrest and conviction of Christy Griffin, who is now serving life imprisonment for the rape and sxual abuse of his partner's young daughter.
The crimes by the inner city thug divided a community and the result has been continued violence, and tit-for-tat attacks.
Griffin, of Ridgewood Green, Swords, formerly of Canon Lillis Avenue, Dublin, is a career criminal.
At the Central Criminal Court in April 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and sxual assault of a young girl. Mr Justice Paul Carney was told that the girl, now in her early 20s, consented to Griffin's name being used by the media.
He was convicted of one count of oral rape of the girl (then in her teens) in 1998, one count of rape in 2001 and nine counts of indecent assault on dates from 1993 to 1998.
He denied all charges.
- Lisa-Anne Crookes

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