By Cormac Looney
Saturday May 09 2009
DRUG dealer BJ Clarke is the third member of a north Dublin criminal gang to be assassinated by former associates, Garda sources have revealed.
The 21-year-old was gunned down after being targeted in an Artane underground car park last Wednesday.
Clarke's brutal death -- the assassin emptied his Glock's magazine into his car -- came six weeks after a former associate, David 'Fred' Lynch, was murdered in Coolock.
Gardai have linked a third murder to the in-fighting which broke out in Clarke's gang three years ago, and continues still.
The gangland death of Ger Goulding (24) has now been connected to feuding in the Coolock gang, which came to power in the last five years as chief suppliers of heroin and cocaine to north Dublin.
Goulding, a junior member of the outfit, was shot dead over a small drug debt in April 2006 in Donaghmede after a man, believed to be an associate, arranged a late-night meeting.
Gardai believe David 'Fred' Lynch, who was a leading member of the gang at the time, was involved in this murder but did not have the evidence to prosecute him for the crime.
Goulding had left his girlfriend in the north inner city and travelled to a green on a housing estate in Donaghmede where he was blasted to death. The crime remains unsolved.
The killing now appears to have been the first death in an internecine power struggle within the gang, which is based in Darndale and deals drugs mainly in the Coolock and Darndale areas of the city.
It was followed by a number of violent incidents, including gun attacks and assaults in the following three years. The next killing took place last April, when David 'Fred' Lynch (26) was gunned down at Belcamp Lane in Coolock, two days after John 'BJ' Clarke was shot by associates of Lynch in Coolock. On this occasion, he survived.
A source told the Herald: "What's coming to pass among this crew started three years ago, and has been simmering ever since. A lot of ex pals are demanding money off each other and threatening each other.
"Our information suggests that Fred Lynch was involved in the Goulding murder, and that BJ Clarke in turn was involved in the Lynch killing.
"The fact that both Lynch and Goulding were lured to their death, and went unarmed, indicates that they were most likely double crossed by people they knew."
Investigations are continuing today into the BJ Clarke murder. He was shot dead at the Brookwood Abbey complex in Artane at 3am last Wednesday.
- Cormac Looney