A convicted killer, rapist and armed robber was in garda custody last night after the cousin of former Liverpool and Ireland star Steve Finnan was shot in a gun attack.
Notorious hood Ian Horgan (28) was being questioned in connection with the attack on Sean Finnan (27) on Byrne Avenue in Prospect, Limerick, at 9.30pm on Thursday.
Convicted criminal Finnan received gunshot wounds to his stomach when he was standing outside his home. Investigating gardai said two hooded assailants fled from the area on foot in the direction of Lenihan Avenue.
Finnan was lucky to escape with his life after he turned away from the gunman when he was shot near his home. He was rushed to University Hospital Limerick with non-life-threatening injuries.
Shortly afterwards, gardai arrested Horgan in connection with the shooting and he remained in custody at Roxboro Garda Station.
The Herald can reveal that Horgan and Finnan have been involved in a bitter feud that centres on Horgan's friendship with State supergrass April Collins and her gang-rapist boyfriend Thomas O'Neill.
In fact, O'Neill was acquitted last year of stabbing Finnan in front of his three-year-old son.
During the trial at Limerick Circuit Court, Finnan denied he had "fitted up" O'Neill after being stabbed by others who believed he had 'ratted out' a Limerick drugs gang to gardai.
Detectives have been on red alert ever since O'Neill's pal Horgan got out of jail in September.
The Herald previously revealed that while Horgan was serving his sentence for manslaughter, rape and robbery, Horgan linked up with the Dublin mob connected to rapist gangster Christy Griffin and sold drugs for them behind bars.
This brought him into direct confrontation with the McCarthy/Dundon gang and, in March of last year, he was disciplined by jail bosses at Wheatfield Prison after he gave Ger Dundon (26) a severe beating behind bars.
Horgan was convicted of murdering beautician Rachel Kiely in 2000. He successfully appealed the conviction in 2004 and was released on bail.
But in 2006 he pleaded guilty to Rachel's manslaughter and was also found guilty of her rape.
He was sentenced to eight years in jail with six years suspended due to the time already served.
In June 2010, Horgan was sentenced to four years after he pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and the unlawful taking of a car at Clondrohid Post Office on September 6, 2005.
The convicted rapist and killer has spent virtually his entire life in prison and was described as "a violent and sadistic man" by a judge.
Steve Finnan's family would not comment when contacted by the Herald last night.
KEN FOY AND BARRY DUGGAN