Latest revenge murder linked to 'Fat' Freddie
By JIM CUSACK
Sunday July 19 2009
The latest Dublin gangland murder -- the 20th feud-related murder this year -- was carried out by members of the gang led by "Fat" Freddie Thompson in direct retaliation for a gun attack in Drimnagh in June in which a man escaped with a leg wound after shots were fired into his house. Thompson was on holiday in Spain last week.
Friday's victim, Anthony Cannon , 26, from Robert Street in the Liberties is "at least the 15th victim" of the so-called Crumlin-Drimnagh feud though the warring factions all originate from the south inner city area in the Kevin Street Garda District, according to garda sources.
The murder was followed yesterday morning at 4am by further gun attacks on two houses in Clondalkin. No one was injured but the occupants of both houses were said to have been traumatised. Gardai believe these shootings are not related to the south inner city feud.
Anthony Cannon was well-known to gardai, and believed to have been a leading figure in the gang engaged in the feud with Freddie Thompson's gang. He is suspected of shooting the Thompson associate in Drimnagh last month and also of having fired shots into Thompson's grandparent's home in the Coombe on June 24 last year.
In the attack in the Coombe, Cannon is believed to have been accompanied by Neill Fitzgerald, who was arrested in July last year after pointing a loaded pistol at detectives. Fitzgerald was arrested by detectives from Kevin Street Station and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment last May.
The shooting dead of Cannon in broad daylight at St Mary's Avenue, off Sarsfield Road, on Friday afternoon has increased the belief among gardai in Dublin that gangsters now believe they can kill with impunity. Women and children were in the area, and witnessed Cannon being struck by at least seven bullets, at least two of which struck him in the head. He had spotted the gunmen pursuing him on a motorcycle and was trying to climb over railings into Longmeadow Park when he was gunned down. The fact that he was wearing body armour failed to save him.
Of the 20 murders so far this year, charges have been brought in relation to two.
A large part of Dublin is now beset by gangland feuding and "turf" wars. The shootings in the early hours of yesterday are believed to be related to the break up of a once-powerful Clondalkin gang whose members have grown so big in the heroin trade that they have been logged in Pakistan buying heroin directly from suppliers linked to the Taliban and tribes in Afghanistan. Their former leader was jailed on a manslaughter charge two years ago and since then elements have broken away and are at war with each other.
The feuding in Flinglas and Blanchardstown is still continuing, though there have been no murders in relation to this for months. There is a feud between the leading drug gang in Cabra and gangs in the north inner city area. There is another feud between a gang which was formerly the local Provisional IRA unit in the north inner city which has claimed at least seven lives.
Other deaths have resulted from one of the city's biggest gangs attempting to push other dealers out of areas in the north of the city. And there are at least two feuds in the Coolock to Artane area which have claimed several lives.
Gardai in the city say they see no prospect of the violence subsiding or of them making much headway in the murder investigations. Overtime for investigating officers has been cut back substantially meaning that within the crucial first few days of the cases gardai are finding that they have to go home rather than concentrate on arresting the suspects.
In almost every case, gardai have good knowledge of who is responsible and in Friday's murder the name of the main suspect was known within less than an hour -- though his whereabouts were not known.
- JIM CUSACK