By Cormac Looney
Monday March 16 2009
Gang boss Freddie Thompson called gardai just after a rival was murdered – to give himself an alibi.
The 28-year-old criminal placed the 999 call on Friday night and described seeing a silver car outside his home with two men in it.
The silver vehicle he described was similar to one used in the murder of Thompson’s rival, Shay O’Byrne.
An associate of Thompson was named as one of the killers by a witness.
The victim was shot dead in front of his girlfriend who bravely disarmed the gunman.
A source said: “Thompson rang in the call after the killing and the car he described was similar to the one used in the shooting.
“It’s the same type of alibi Martin Cahill, the General, used whenever he was a suspect in a serious crime.”
As the garda investigation continued today, extra patrols were in place around Drimnagh, where O’Byrne’s partner, Sharon Rattigan, has her family home.
O’Byrne was shot three times in the back outside his home at Tymon North in Tallaght last Friday. His two-month-old son was with his mother when his father was shot.
Ms Rattigan (26) managed to partially pull the gunman’s balaclava off in the attack, and was shot in the leg as she grabbed the gunman’s revolver.
DNA samples taken from under her fingernails, and the revolver, are being technically examined today.
The injured woman, who also has a six-year-old daughter with O’Byrne, discharged herself from hospital after the attack.
Gardai now believe the shooting was linked to ongoing tensions between lower ranked criminals in the two gangs, which have seen a number of houses shot at in recent weeks in Crumlin.
One of the suspects for arranging the murder, in his 20s, is on bail after he was charged over a feud related attack in the city centre.
The man is also the suspect for an explosive attack at Slane Road in Crumlin in June 2007, when a military grenade was thrown at a house there.
Another suspect was arrested in 2007 over the feud related killing of Shay O’Byrne’s pal Gary Bryan.
These two men are not in custody, but three other suspects are. They were detained when gardai stopped a car in Crumlin after the shooting.
Officers have also seized the 2000-reg silver Primera used as the getaway car. It was spotted in Crumlin hours before the killing, when men were seen fitting black tinted covers to its windows.
Shay O’Byrne did not have convictions for serious crime, and his family have denied that he was involved in violence.
In a statement they said they did “not accept” reports of his criminality and added: “Terrible things have been said about Seamus. The family beg to be left in peace.”
But security sources have said that O’Byrne was a leading figure in the Crumlin based drugs gang.
He had been involved in inter-gang threats and feuding for some time. In February 2004, members of the Thompson gang attacked an innocent man at Lansdowne Valley apartments, after mistaking him for O’Byrne.
The man was helping to push start O’Byrne’s car when he was set upon by a gang and beaten with a baseball bat. The victim – who was not connected with criminality – underwent lengthy hospital treatment.
Meanwhile, in a separate operation gardai at Kevin Street seized a 9mm pistol and ammunition hidden in the ground close to St Theresa’s Gardens in the south inner city.
It is believed that the gun and ammunition belonged to fringe members of the Thompson gang.
- Cormac Loone