Freddie feud spirals out of control
Saturday July 18 2009
TWO Dublin homes came under gun attack early today – hours after a known drug dealer was shot dead in broad daylight.
The murder of 26-year-old Anthony Cannon in Ballyfermot yesterday evening shattered a ceasefire within the feuding Crumlin-Drimnagh gangs which was brokered by two mothers and two priests before Christmas.
One of the gangs is led by notorious Freddie Thompson – victim Anthony Cannon was aligned to the rival gang.
Today shots were fired at two adjacent homes in the Clondalkin area in a separate incident.
The attack comes after the 12th murder in the Crumlin-Drimnagh gang feud since 2001, near the Liffey Gaels GAA club in Ballyfermot.
It was the 17th gun murder of the year – 15 of them committed in Dublin. Hours after President Mary McAleese referred proposed new “get tough” crime legislation to the Council of State for its condiseration, Anthony Cannon literally ran for his life.
But even his bullet-proof vest did not save him as Cannon was trapped by his
assassins who chased him down on a motor bike. He tried in vain to clamber over a fence into a park.
A total of 11 shots are understood to have been fired at him with two being pumped into his head from close range after he was brought down.
Children were playing in the vicinity as the gun gang pursued their victim.
Cannon was well known to the gardai as a drugs dealer and was close to one of the leaders of the feuding Southside gangs.
Speculation is mounting that he was shot in retaliation for a recent gun attack, in which a member of the rival Freddie Thompson outfit was wounded in the leg.
Thompson has moved overseas in recent weeks after new threats against his family. He is believed to be living in Spain.
Cannon, from Robert Street, was due to appear in the Circuit Criminal court this week in relation to driving offences and possession of a concealed weapon -- a knife.
In February last year he was given a six-month suspended sentence and banned from driving for 10 years after being found guilty of careless driving and giving a false name.
He had also been fined for possession of cannabis resin in 2006, but had a charge of possession of ecstasy for sale or supply struck out in 2002.
He was also arrested for questioning in connection with another drugs seizure but was released without charge.
His death was the second in the feud since two mothers, whose rival sons were murdered, brokered a truce before Christmas last.
Senior gardai were involved with two local priests from Crumlin and Drimnagh. They were aware that while the gangs would stop shooting each other, they would continue their criminal involvement.
Gardai insisted that the rule of law would apply and continued surveillance of them.
Shay O'Byrne was the first new victim when he was gunned down on March 12 at Tymon North in Tallaght. His partner was wounded when she tackled the gunman.
Commissioner Fachtna Murphy pledged that the funding available to him would be used to confront the gang challenge.
He said: "We have to face down these people who are committing terrible crimes. It has to stop and every effort will be made to bring those responsible to justice."
Gardai have appealed for eyewitnesses, who might have witnessed the shooting or the gunmen's escape.
Superintendent John Quirke appealed to elderly residents in the area in particular to contact Ballyfermot garda station.
"Two men were seen leaving on a small motorcycle and we believe they left in the direction of Sarsfield Road.
"We would appeal for anyone who was in the Sarsfield Road area around the 3.30pm mark today to contact Ballyfermot garda station where the incident room has been set up."
Anyone with information should contact Ballyfermot station, on 01 6667200, or on the confidential line, 1800 666111.