Latest feud victim was long-time member of Provisional IRA
Published 03/07/2016 | 02:30
The latest gangland feud victim, David Douglas, was a key figure in the 'finance' wing of the IRA, which moved from 'anti-drugs' activities into the centre of drugs importation for the main south and west Dublin gangs now referred to as the Kinahan Cartel.
Douglas was an 'active service unit' (ASU) volunteer with the Provisional IRA employed in 'fund raising' for the organisation from the early 1980s. He was caught by gardai during a robbery of a post office in Tallaght in which he pointed and fired a rifle at a garda. He received a 12-year sentence for attempted murder.
He was closely associated with the Dublin IRA group which transformed from the 'Concerned Parents'' movement, which protested against drug dealers in the inner city, to extorting money from drug dealers and then moving full-time into the trade.
He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for possession with intent to supply €562,000 worth of cocaine in April 2008.
Douglas was closely associated with the IRA 'unit' in Dublin which was working for the then major heroin and cocaine supplier in the state, the 'businessman' and property speculator, Jim Mansfield.
Mansfield, who died in 2014, was importing drugs through Weston Aerodrome in Lucan, which he bought through the profits of drugs money laundering and his considerable legitimate profits from successful property development.
The drugs were being supplied by the Kinahan operation in Spain and Belgium. The Garda Special Branch had for years known of the connections between Mansfield/Kinahan and the Provo smugglers, who adapted their arms importation routes seamlessly to drugs importation in the 1990s.
Garda sources said that the senior IRA finance officer, Joe Cahill, one of Gerry Adams's mentors, called at Mansfield's home on the last Friday of each month to collect 'protection' money for the 'movement' - at the same time the Provos claimed to be fighting the "scourge" of drugs in inner city Dublin.
The Provos were able to move into drugs under cover of the peace process when a de facto blind eye was turned to their activities in the mistaken belief the terrorist group would opt for purely constitutional political activity.
Gardai regarded this as a farce which allowed the IRA to make massive profits from drugs, tobacco and fuel smuggling, with an estimated 25pc of profits going into the central finances of the republican movement. The rest of the money was shared out among the 'volunteers'.
Douglas, according to local people, came from a very decent and highly thought of family in the Cabra area, who were shocked to learn he had fallen in with the thuggish local IRA 'unit'. It was no surprise locally when the 55-year-old gravitated from political terrorism into the narcotics trade with his associates.