Gangsters get security warning in wake of murder
DRUG-GANG members who faced death threats last year from the Real IRA are being contacted about their personal safety following the murder of Darren Falsey.
Mr Falsey -- who was associated with a major drugs gang on Cork's southside -- was murdered last Wednesday in what gardai now consider to have been a professional killing.
The 37-year-old was shot within minutes of returning to his Ashbourne Court home in Carrigaline, Co Cork, having visited a friend in Cork prison that morning.
Gardai are convinced that the killer had the rented house shared by Mr Falsey and his partner, Lorraine, under surveillance for some time.
Detectives are focused on two investigation theories: that the father of two either owed money to a major Cork criminal or was targeted because he refused to pay protection money to a dissident republican cell.
Last year, the Real IRA issued a list of named drug dealers that it threatened to kill.
Mr Falsey's name was not on that list. However, an acquaintance of his was later assaulted in what detectives suspect was an attack by dissident republican supporters.
Gardai conducted raids over the past 18 months in which suspected dissident republican supporters were arrested after intelligence that attacks on named individuals were being planned.
The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder of Gerard 'Topper' Staunton (42), who was killed in front of his partner and her child in Wilton, Cork, in January 2010.
Mr Falsey got a bullet in the post last month although he did not subsequently upgrade his personal security.
Gardai are examining claims that attempts were made to extort 'protection money' of €50,000 to €80,000 from Mr Falsey over recent weeks.
Detectives are also trying to determine if other individuals in Cork have received extortion demands or death threats over recent months.
The Irish Independent understands that some individuals will be advised to review their personal security.
Senior gardai are concerned that dissident republicans may believe that extorting money from criminal figures offers a new fundraising avenue.
Gardai have been carefully monitoring the Real IRA in Cork amid concerns that a new leadership structure is trying to bolster funding and recruitment levels.