By Andrew Phelan
Friday January 15 2010
A RELATIVE of Brian 'King Ratt' Rattigan was hit on the head with a hammer in a pub brawl linked to the bloody Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.
The man was targeted when two groups became involved in a violent row as customers dived for cover at a Drimnagh bar. He was later hospitalised with minor injuries.
Simmering tensions in the area since the conviction of gang boss Rattigan are being blamed for the incident, which saw the man attacked at the Marble Arch bar.
The injured man is a relative of Brian Rattigan and it is thought the row is related to the feud between the Rattigan gang and a rival outfit, led by 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
Other customers in the busy bar looked on in horror as two groups squared up to each other, with one side brandishing a hammer. A number of verbal threats were issued before the weapon was produced and the mayhem erupted.
The drama unfolded after three men, one armed with a hammer, entered the bar and confronted Rattigan's relative, who was drinking with friends.
The crowd dispersed after staff pressed a panic button and were gone before the gardai arrived. But Rattigan's relative suffered injuries before the row broke up.
The victim is not thought to be seriously injured. He was brought to hospital with flesh wounds, it is understood.
Gardai are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, that happened just after midnight on Saturday.
The injured man is not involved in the feud and is believed to have been targeted simply because he was related to Rattigan. Gardai are continuing to hunt the three men involved in the feud.
The Marble Arch is a popular watering hole among Drimnagh locals, at Benbulbin Road near the Red Line Luas tracks.
The area is no stranger to violence, with 16 people murdered -- either directly or indirectly -- as part of the notorious and long-running Crumlin /Drimnagh feud.
Declan Gavin was the first victim when he was stabbed to death outside a fast food restaurant at the Crumlin Shopping Centre in August 2001. Brian Rattigan was last month found guilty of his murder.
The gang war stemmed from a row between former criminal associates, which erupted after gardai seized drugs in a city centre hotel a year before Mr Gavin's death.
The feud ranks as the most notorious and violent gang war in the history of Irish organised crime, rivalled only by events in Limerick in recent years.
- Andrew Phelan