By Cormac Looney
Tuesday June 16 2009
GANGLAND victim Paul Smyth may have been shot dead because he was spotted close to the scene of a planned gun attack on a Dublin crime boss.
Smyth (34), whose body was found in a field at Ballough, Balbriggan, was spotted close to Ratoath Road in Finglas in January in a car with another man, minutes before gardai arrested two men in a second vehicle.
It is suspected that the two other men were en route to shoot up a house used by the Finglas-based crime boss.
They were both arrested after Finglas gardai pursued them and searched their vehicle.
Gardai investigated reports that Smyth was linked to the planned gun attack, along with the other man, on the basis that he was sighted in the area.
The crime boss and his associate Graham McNally were set to attend a face-to-face meeting in the area.
It is understood. Gardai believe their intervention prevented a gun attack on the two men. McNally was shot dead a week later, with his body found in a North Dublin laneway.
Gardai also believe that reports of Smyth's presence in the area may have led to him being targeted last week, despite the fact that he was not arrested on the night.
The Finglas boss has emerged as one of the most dangerous criminals in Dublin since he took control of the gang led by slain criminal Martin Marlo Hyland, who was shot dead in 2006. He is reported to be involved in at least five murders this year.
Officers believe Smyth may have been lured to his death on the pretense of a meeting in the Ballough area of Balbriggan. He kept horses in a field there, and was known to meet with associates in the area.
He was shot twice in the head and his body partially concealed in a field there, where it was discovered on Friday. His funeral is likely to take place this week.
- Cormac Looney