Dubliner found dead in an Amsterdam canal
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
The Observer, Sunday 29 March 2009
Dublin's gangland feuds, violent vendettas and tit-for-tat murders have spread to mainland Europe, Irish security sources warned last night. They said the killing of a former arms and drugs trafficker, whose body was found in an Amsterdam canal, had been ordered by an Irish gangland boss.
Dutch police confirmed this weekend that they had discovered the remains of a 30-year-old Dubliner, who they believe was dumped in a canal three weeks ago. Garda sources have named the victim as Keith Ennis.
The gruesome discovery has brought the Dublin gangland death toll to 11 in 2009. Garda sources said they believed Ennis was abducted and killed on the orders of a gangster with an extremely violent reputation. The gang boss had suspected him of working for the Garda, they added.
Ennis is understood to have fled to the Netherlands at the end of last year fearing he would be unmasked as an informant. He was known as a suspected gun and drug dealer and had been charged a year and a half ago after €100,000 worth of drugs and five firearms were recovered in Dublin.
The Garda and the Dutch police are now trying to establish where he was killed. Ennis was only identified through his DNA and fingerprints after Dutch police contacted the Garda.
The gangster whom Garda sources believe ordered Ennis's death has been behind the killings of at least six men in Dublin's ongoing gang wars.
Ennis, of Oakway, Clondalkin, absconded while on bail after being charged with possession of cocaine and a Glock semi-automatic pistol in November 2007. He was thought to be a one-time associate of one of the biggest drug gangs in Dublin, which included former members of the Irish National Liberation Army and the now defunct Irish People's Liberation Organisation.
The gang has close links with former Irish drug dealers now based in the Netherlands who are believed to have tracked Ennis down.
So far, all of the 11 Dublin gangland murders since the start of 2009 remain unsolved. However, gardaí in the Kevin Street District have sent files to the director of public prosecutions in relation to the murder of "Champagne" Johnny Carroll, shot dead in at a pub in The Coombe on 18 February.
More than 20 people have been arrested in relation to that murder, and last week gardaí arrested and questioned a 61-year-old man related to the prime suspect.
Garda sources said that Ennis's body had been dismembered. This is the first time this is known to have happened in an Irish gangland killing.
The gang responsible for the Ennis murder is one of the most violent in Dublin, according to Garda sources.
Meanwhile, the other main centre of Irish gang warfare, Limerick City, remains relatively quiet since the accidental death of Philip Collopy last weekend. The gangster aligned to the Keane-Collopy gang in the city shot himself during what he thought was a mock-game of Russian roulette. Collopy had remembered to pull out the magazine of his Glock semi-automatic pistol and put the weapon to his head but he had forgotten that a single round was still inside the gun when he pulled the trigger.
It is understood that a teenager was filming the stunt on a mobile phone at the time when the gun was discharged. Collopy was buried last week in the flak jacket he wore for protection against his gang's main rivals, the Dundon-McCarthy gang. Last week in a move to calm tensions in the city, the Dundon-McCarthy families sent a message of condolence to the Keane-Collopy gang over Collopy's death.