Gilligan minder's murder shows gangs have 'lost all mercy'
Growing sense that human life is becoming worthless, mourners told
Published 23/03/2014 | 02:30
MOURNERS at the funeral of John Gilligan's murdered associate Stephen 'Dougie' Moran yesterday heard that there is a growing sense that human life is becoming worthless in the eyes of organised criminals.
Fr Eamon Bourke also said there was a deep sense of anger and shock in the community and a belief that gangs had lost "any sense of mercy".
He was speaking in the aftermath of another murder attempt, when "dissident" republican figure Declan "Fat Deccy" Smith was left in a critical condition after being shot in the face last week as he left his infant daughter to a north Dublin creche.
Dougie Moran, who also had dissident republican links, was buried yesterday after a funeral mass in the Lucan South parish church.
Parish priest Fr Bourke said: "Dougie's family and friends have been plunged into darkness by the sudden and horrific way he died.
"Speaking to many parishioners over these days, there is a deep sense of anger and shock in our parish at the nature of Dougie's death. It seems that human life has become worthless. It would seem that any sense of mercy has been lost."
Moran's tricolour-draped coffin travelled to Palmerstown Cemetery in a horse-drawn carriage followed by five limousines and a large motor cortege, including an open-backed lorry with floral tributes and pictures of Moran and his wife Natasha.
It has emerged that Moran – whose murder last weekend prompted Gilligan's swift departure from the country – had been at the top of the Criminal Asset Bureau's target list. He was expected to be served with a demand for taxes said to run to several million euro.
Moran was heavily involved in extortion and money laundering. Gardai believe he had been intent on setting up a drug operation along with Gilligan and Limerick criminals. He owned a number of pubs and ran a security company.
He had been providing protection for convicted drug dealer and murder suspect John Gilligan, driving him in his armoured BMW 4x4. However his protection didn't save Gilligan three weeks ago, when the criminal was shot by two gunmen at his brother's home in Clondalkin.
Gilligan is believed to have been taken to a private hospital in the north of England, where he continues his convalescence. For the moment, gardai believe, he is under the protection of Moran's associates in England.
Gardai are not satisfied that the same north Dublin gang that attacked Gilligan was responsible for Moran's murder. The attacks on Gilligan were "amateur stuff", Garda sources said, while Moran's murder was much more professional.
The lone gunman – said to have been armed with a pistol in each hand – had only a few seconds in which to act between Moran alighting from the bulletproof car and walking to his front door. Moran had bulletproof windows installed in his house in the Earlsfort estate in Clondalkin.
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Gardai are also investigating a possible link between Moran's murder and that of drug-dealer Corbally brothers Kenneth, 32, and Paul, 35, also in Clondalkin, in July 2010. The Corballys were also highly security conscious, having been involved in a number of feuds. They were both shot dead by a lone gunman who approached their parked car.
Also, the escape cars used in both sets of murders were burnt out in exactly the same location, Glen Vale in Lucan.
Gardai believe that Gilligan and Moran were the subjects of a city-wide assassination contract by several gangs who get their drugs from the main Irish cartel in Spain.
While gardai are concerned that the killing of Dougie Moran will spark retaliation, they believe there will be no further repercussions from the attempts on Gilligan's life. Gilligan's late-night departure from James Connolly Memorial Hospital in a wheelchair and his ferry journey to Holyhead marks the end of his time in Ireland, gardai believe.
Criminal sources indicated to gardai that Gilligan claimed to still have contacts in Holland who, they felt, might protect him. However, Holland has not been a safe place for Irish criminals on the run from former associates.
Gardai also believe that Declan Smith was shot by the criminal gang from north Dublin who had previously been attacked by Smith's associate, the Real IRA leader Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in September 2012.