Four-man gang used car to kill Stephen (32) 'for saying the wrong thing'
A group of young men who are involved in a low-level feud in Crumlin in Dublin are the chief suspects in the murder of a man deliberately run over by a car.
Sources close to the investigation say gardai are expected to arrest the gang of up to four men soon.
The men were present when father-of-three Stephen Lynch (32) was killed in Brookview Close, Tallaght, at around 7pm on Thursday.
It is understood that, in the aftermath of the shocking incident, one of the suspects tried to report to gardai that his car had been stolen earlier that day.
"These men are far from criminal masterminds or anything like that," a source said last night.
"They are now caught up in a murder investigation but their behaviour has become increasingly reckless in recent months.
"The unfortunate man who was killed on Thursday may have been targeted for simply saying the wrong thing to these people in the course of an argument.
"Associates of these individuals have been involved in an escalating feud in Crumlin in recent weeks that has led to a number of violent incidents, including two extremely serious assaults."
An associate of these men had almost €15,000 in cash seized from him when gardai investigating the Crumlin feud raided a house in Tallaght earlier this month and he is known for using extreme violence.
However, Mr Lynch, who was from the Glenshane estate in Tallaght, was not known to have any involvement in the Crumlin feud and was considered a "decent young man".
Gardai believe that he got involved in a verbal row with the four men, who were travelling in a silver Ford Focus.
It is understood the car was then driven over Mr Lynch and he was dragged along the road.
Gardai believe that the car may have been driven back and forth over him as well.
Mr Lynch was also kicked as he lay unconscious on the ground.
The driver then fled the scene on foot and is suspected of getting into another car.
The two cars that are being linked to the incident have been seized by gardai for forensic testing.
A passer-by, who was in Brookview Close when the attack happened, tried to stop one of the men from escaping but was unsuccessful after a brief scuffle.
Garda Superintendent Peter Duff, speaking at the scene of the killing, said Mr Lynch was "not involved in any form of criminality".
He said the victim was a 32-year-old father-of-three. He had trained to be an electrician.
Gardai want assistance from the public in providing information about two cars connected with the incident.
The silver Ford Focus hatchback, registration number 10WW1812, was recovered at the scene of the incident.
A red wine-coloured Volkswagen Polo, registration number 01D9539, may have been used by some of the individuals to leave the scene of the killing.
It was found abandoned in Crumlin afterwards.
"We are appealing to anyone who was in the Brookview area between 6.30pm and 8pm last night to contact us at Tallaght Garda Station," said Supt Duff.
"We're still trying to establish the exact circumstances that led to the incident happening on Brookview Close.
"We're trying to trace the movements of these two cars last night from 6.30pm.
"Mr Lynch was on the road and there was a collision or an impact with a vehicle and as a result he died.
"We are trying to establish what brought him to the area and who he interacted with.
"We think someone may have left this area in the Polo and gone to the Crumlin area."
Gardai are still trying to establish how many people were in both cars.
"If anyone saw any altercation, we are appealing to them to come forward to us," he said.
"Mr Lynch was not involved in any criminality."