Thursday 18 December 2014

Faces of 10 gangland killings so far this year - and nobody charged

It has been another bloody year for gangland killings with the death toll standing at 10 - with four months of the year still to come. Crime correspondent Ken Foy analyses the series of brutal assassinations that have hit our streets

Ken Foy

Published 28/08/2014 | 22:00

Gardai at the scene of the shooting of 'Fat Deccy' Smith on Holywell Avenue in March
Blood on the road at the scene of the shooting on Holywell Avenue

Gardai have not been able to secure any charges so far in the 10 gangland murders this year.

All 10 brutal killings are linked to organised criminality in the capital. Three of the murders have happened in Co Meath while the other seven have occurred in Dublin.

Of the seven gun murders in Dublin, two are being investigated by Tallaght gardai, two by Lucan gardai and one each by officers based at Coolock, Ballymun and Crumlin garda stations.

An 11th gun murder which happened in Tallaght in March has resulted in a 58-year-old man being charged - but this homicide is not classified as being in any way linked to organised crime.

The three gun murders which happened in Co Meath include this year's only double murder - the gruesome slaying of Coolock pals Eoin O'Connor and Anthony Keegan whose bodies were found on an island in Lough Sheelin in May.

The figures for the amount of gangland murders so far this year match the same time last year when there was also 10 gun murders directly linked to organised crime.

Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy

'Mad Mickey' (42, below) became the first gangland murder of the year when he was shot a number of times in the head before his body was dumped on the side of the road at Fox Hill Lane, Tallaght, on the night of January 18.

The chief suspect for the murder of the Ballymun man is a Dundalk based criminal with INLA connections who may have carried it out for a gang who suspected Devoy was involved in the botched hit on drugs trafficker Greg Lynch last October.

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Read more: Hitman planning murder of brothers in revenge attack

Devoy had multiple previous convictions including for threats to kill two men in a row over rubbish bins and threatening to gouge out another man's eyeballs and kill him.

Read more: Armed gardai in show of force at Devoy’s funeral

James Talbot

Talbot (46) was shot several times in the chest and arm with a handgun when he answered the door of his home at Abbeywood Court, Lucan, on the evening of February 13.

He was a well-known criminal who was previously a professional boxer and had served a sentence of seven years after being caught with IR£300,000 worth of heroin in 1997.

In the years before he was murdered, Talbot was involved in organising cannabis grow houses and prostitution and is believed to have had links to a number of Chinese criminals.

He was also involved in a bouncy castle business and it is understood that he was shot dead after getting in a cash dispute with a south inner city gang.

Stephen 'Dougie' Moran

Moran (46) was shot dead by a lone gunman as he walked to the front door of his house at the Earlsfort View estate in Lucan on the evening of March 15.

'Dougie' was known as a major underworld 'fixer' with strong links to Limerick's McCarthy/Dundon gang and he had been a big target for the Criminal Assets Bureau.

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In the months before he was shot dead he had been acting as a driver for former mob boss John Gilligan in a bulletproof 4x4. Gardai believe Moran's murder was carried out by the same gang who tried to murder Gilligan on two occasions since his release from jail last October.

Declan 'Fat Deccy' Smith

Dissident Republican 'Fat' Deccy Smith (31) died in Beaumont Hospital in the early hours of March 28 from injuries he received when he was shot in the face with a shotgun outside a creche at Holywell Avenue in Donaghmede at around 9am on Friday, March 21.

Belfast man Smith was targeted after he dropped his son off at a local creche.

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Read more: Coroner warns family of slain 'Fat Deccy' of 'distressing' inquest report

A close pal of slain Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan, he was previously the victim of a punishment shooting by his former IRA colleagues. But the chief suspect for murdering him is a gangster from the Priorswood area of north Dublin who Smith previously abducted and attacked.

John O' Regan

Window cleaner O' Regan (48) was shot up to six times as he cycled to work at Gateway Avenue, Ballymun, at around 8.45am on April 15 when a hitman on a bike approached and shot him before cycling in the direction of the city centre.

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Originally from Finglas, O'Regan, a small-time drugs dealer, was not considered a major criminal but may have been targeted because of a bitter dispute in the Ballymun area. One line of inquiry in the investigation is whether O'Neill was targeted because he was a witness to a serious assault.

Eoin O' Connor and Anthony Keegan

The bodies of best pals O'Connor (32) and Keegan (33) were found on an island on Lough Sheelin in Co Meath by a fisherman who noticed a foul smell on the afternoon of May 26.

However, gardai believe that they were shot dead on the evening of April 22 when they travelled to Co Cavan to retrieve a drugs debt owed to a notorious Coolock gang.

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Read more: Double funeral of murdered men hears they were 'inseparable'

Two different guns were used in the murders of the pals who were set up by a major Dublin criminal whom they trusted. The chief suspect for carrying out the murders is a South African gangster who has since fled the country.

Christopher 'Git' Zambra

Zambra (39) was gunned down in broad daylight on the afternoon of May 4 this year.

He was ambushed on Cooley Road, Drimnagh, as he drove to visit his sister and the gunmen continued to fire on him as he attempted to make his escape before he collapsed outside a house and died.

Read more: Gang member Christopher 'Git' Zambra died from internal injuries from shooting

Drimnagh man 'Git' - who was one of the capital's most feared criminals and a member of the 'Mr Big' drugs organisation - was acquitted in June last year of the February 2009 murder of drugs trafficker John Carroll, who was shot dead at a pub in the Coombe.

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Detectives believe he had been under surveillance for a number of weeks before he was shot dead. At least three men were involved in the attack which was most likely carried out by an INLA hitman.

Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher

Like Zambra, Donaghmede man Gallagher (26) was also involved in the 'Mr Big' mob, but he was not a major player when he was riddled with bullets in a field in Ballymacon, Co Meath, in the early hours of July 29.

'Ralph' was under threat because of his reckless behaviour in the months before his murder - including his involvement in stealing drugs and shooting up houses belonging to other criminals.

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Read more: Ireland's latest gangland victim may have been shot with his own gun

Gardai believe they have identified a number of thugs who were in the field including a highly volatile Donaghmede man who is aged in his early 20's and is known for violent crime and has a number of previous convictions.

'Fat' Andy Connors

Burglary gang boss 'Fat' Andy Connors (45) was shot dead in front of his family at their home on the Blessington Road in Saggart at around 11pm on August 19.

Read more: Murder victim 'Fat Andy' Connors to be buried in gold-plated coffin

'Fat' Andy was the leader of a notorious burglary gang who have terrorised people across the country in recent years. Gardai are exploring a number of theories in relation to the murder including whether he was targeted by the INLA or a south Dublin businessman.

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(The Herald)

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