Gardai fear trouble as man is freed
Published 29/05/2007 | 00:00
GARDAI are this week closely monitoring the activities of criminals caught up in a bloody gangland feud as one of their main targets is released from prison.
There have been a number of unsuccessful attempts on the life of Paul Crawford (33), who has publicly aligned himself to the notorious Dundon-McCarthy gang in Limerick's bloody gangland feud.
Crawford, from O'Malley Park, Southill, will be released from Limerick Prison this week having completed an eight-month sentence for threatening to kill a neighbour hours after his brother, Noel, was shot dead outside the Crawford family home last December.
Crawford has told the Irish Independent that there is a contract on his head by a criminal gang based in the St Mary's Park area of Limerick.
The Keane and Collopy gangs are both believed to be behind attacks on the Crawford family.
Last week, his parents' home in O'Malley Park was fired on, in an apparent warning to Crawford. The occupants narrowly avoided injury.
Noel Crawford (40) was the seventh person murdered in the ongoing vicious feud. He was standing outside his parent's house celebrating his 40th birthday when a gunman opened fire. The intended target in the attack was Paul.
Hours later, investigating gardai heard Crawford shouting: "My brother Noel is dead, ye are all dead, too" to a group of people. Crawford then pointed to three houses and said: "That will be done tonight, children and all, and that one, and that one."
A woman subsequently would not provide evidence in court of the threat.
Gardai believe that she was intimidated into withdrawing her statement by the Dundon-McCarthy gang.
Crawford said he was in a state of shock after his brother's death and subsequently pleaded guilty to threatening to kill his neighbour and threatening to cause criminal damage. He was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment.
Last November in another attack, Crawford's nephew, Jordan (5) was shot in the leg by a gunman outside the house. Crawford was standing nearby and again was the gunman's actual intended target.
When interviewed by the Irish Independent, Crawford said he was a wanted man.
"They came in here to get me, to finish me off. They wanted me dead and shot my nephew," he said.
"There is a hit out on me. They want me dead."
Crawford could offer no explanation as to why there has been at least four attempts to murder him.
Days before his nephew was shot, a gunman pointed an automatic firearm at Crawford at point-blank range as he walked through the John Carew park area of Southill.
However, the weapon jammed and Crawford miraculously escaped.
His parents' home has been shot at a number of times and bullet holes can be found in picture frames and across the sitting room wall.
The extended families' homes in the Corbally area of the city have also been targeted.