By Cormac Byrne
Friday January 15 2010
Detectives were today hopeful of charging drugslord 'The Don' with double murder.
An informant within the killer's crew has blown the lid on the bloody gang leader.
The breakthrough comes as armed and balaclava clad members of the ERU were deployed in west Dublin to further undermine the Don's gang.
Separately, raids were carried out last night on a guns-for-hire business on the westside, uncovering handguns and silencers.
In the biggest blow to the Don, an informant in his own outfit has come forward and implicated him in last weekend's double murder in Dublin.
The so-called Don has been behind 12 murders in the capital.
Now officers investigating the killing of Brendan Molyneaux and innocent man Paddy Mooney last Sunday are understood to have received important information in the past 24 hours.
A source told the Herald early today: "It's make or break time. The next 12 hours are critical."
Meanwhile, one of those arrested after the killings reportedly tried to hang himself in custody.
The man, who was captured on CCTV at the murder scene, did not suffer serious injuries and was still being quizzed by gardai today.
The fast-moving investigation also saw gardai search the Royal Canal in Spencer Dock for the murder weapon -- but no trace of it was found.
The new information in the killings has been described by sources as a "break" in the case, and could see charges filed against several of the Don's gang.
A critical point in the probe comes this evening, as gardai decide whether to continue to hold the suspects, charge or release them.
The "Don" was the orchestrator of at least a dozen deaths in the city over the past three years but this is the first time the gardai have come close to solving one of the murders carried out by his gang.
A senior source said: "This is a significant development, we are extremely hopeful that charges will follow within days."
Four people, three men and a woman, arrested after the killing last weekend, remain in custody today. They may have their periods of detention extended at court tonight.
The man who tried to harm himself, who is in his 20s, was arrested along with his girlfriend within hours of the brutal killing on Sunday evening.
Brendan Molyneaux and his friend Paddy Mooney, who had no gangland connections, were chatting in Paddy's flat when two gunmen burst in through the front door at 6.45pm last Sunday.
Paddy was shot twice in the head by the gunmen in Pearse House, off Pearse Street.
A further two suspects were arrested later that night and the four have been in custody ever since.
The prime suspect was refusing to cooperate with gardai and is believed to have become very upset in his holding cell on Thursday morning.
Gardai had to enter his cell to prevent him from killing himself. Officers had been checking his cell in 15 minute intervals and rushed to save him when they noticed something was wrong.
In an unrelated operation overnight an underworld gunsmith was arrested by gardai in Finglas. The man was allegedly maintaining and selling weapons to underworld criminals from an apartment in the area. Double murder investigators meanwhile broke through ice on the Royal Canal to search for the murder weapon, believed to be a pistol.
The Garda water unit was called as detectives believe that the murder weapon is lying in the waterway. Gardai are also searching for a bike believed to have been used by the killer that was also flung into the canal. No weapon or bike have been found yet.
The separate Finglas operation led to the seizure of 9mm ammunition and a silencer in a raid at an apartment at midnight. A man and two women were arrested.
According to sources the man was selling weapons and ammunition to criminal gangs.
- Cormac Byrne