Gangland criminal quizzed over brutal murder of man killed in front of his stepdaughter
A major gangland criminal is being investigated for the brutal murder of a 27-year-old man in front of his step-daughter it has emerged.
James ‘Nellie’ Walsh (30) is already being investigated for two other gun murders and in recent weeks was convicted of offences linked to a botched hit on criminal Michael Frazer.
Sources say that gardai plan to question ‘Nellie’ in the coming months about the gangland murder of Gerard Eglington more than four years ago.
Dublin Circuit Court heard this month that gang thug ‘Nellie’ Walsh (30) shot himself in the leg while escaping from the scene of where he shot Drimnagh criminal Michael Frazer (37) in a Clondalkin church car park on March 26, 2014.
He is now facing 10 years in jail on firearm offences.
Such is the threat against Walsh, that the jail van from the Midlands Prison transporting ‘Nellie’ Walsh, who is serving a separate sentence for burglary has been always accompanied by armed gardai.
Gerard Eglington was shot dead in Portarlington, Co Laois in September 2012.
Eglington was at home with his 11-year-old stepdaughter and three-year-old son when the attack occurred on September, 24, 2012, at Kilnacourt Woods, in Portarlington, Co Laois.
The victim was an associate of jailed gangland killer Brian Rattigan and his murder is classified as being part of the deadly Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.
Gardai are satisfied that the murder was linked to a savage attack in a Dublin pub 18 months earlier.
The 27-year-old victim, who had fled his base on the southside of Dublin to a bolthole with his family in Portarlington, Co Laois, had been under a death threat since the pub attack.
Eglington was warned five times by gardai in the months before his murder that his life was in danger. It is understood that he was in so much fear of being targeted at his home that he often hid in the attic.
The shooting was carried out in front of the 11-year-old daughter of Eglington’s partner.
The Herald recently revealed that ‘Nellie’ was a suspect in the murders of Dean Johnson (21) in 2011 and Jason ‘Jay’ Carroll (39) in 2013.
Gardai believe that Mr Johnson, who was not involved in crime, was targeted because of a “local dispute” that he was involved in with associates of ‘Nellie’ Walsh.
Sources say that after the Johnson murder, ‘Nellie’ became a much bigger player in the Dublin crime scene and ended up getting involved in a bitter dispute with a Clondalkin mob with close links to the Kinahan cartel.
As the dispute intensified, the gang attempted to murder ‘Nellie’ in the early hours of August 24, 2013 at Harelawn Green in Clondalkin.
However, instead of shooting the criminal, an innocent 21-year-old man also called Dean Johnson, who had been socialising earlier with the mobster, was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.
This infuriated Nellie’s gang who decided to take revenge.
Within five days, criminal Jason ‘Jay’ Carroll (39) was fatally shot at his home at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin
Meanwhile Michael Frazer, who was involved in the bitter Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, has rarely been seen in public in recent months.
After being shot by ‘Nellie’ Walsh, the 37-year-old survived separate murder attempts in the south inner city, Firhouse, Drimnagh and Islandbridge areas between July and November of 2014 before he finally fled the country.
However he is now believed to be back in Ireland.