John Gilligan 'minder' shot by lone gunman
Published 16/03/2014 | 02:30
A notorious west Dublin criminal who 'minded' John Gilligan on his release from prison, acting as his driver, was shot dead last night.
Gardai have today appealed for witnesses after Stephen Douglas 'Dougie' Moran, in his mid-40s, was shot by a lone gunman at his home in the Earlsfort estate in Clondalkin at 7.30pm.
Gardai and emergency services arrived at the scene a short time later and Moran was rushed to Tallaght Hospital but later died.
Gardai are gathering CCTV footage from the victim's home.
A burnt-out car was later discovered in Glen Vale, Lucan. Gardai are investigating the possibility that this may have been involved in the murder.
After John Gilligan's release from Portlaoise Prison last October, the former gang boss was regularly seen in an armour-plated BMW X5 four-wheel drive owned by Moran.
Moran was high on the garda's list of serious criminals and republican subversives, although he had come to little media attention. He is understood to have owned four pubs and a security company and was from Limerick originally.
He was a cousin of the infamous Dundon-McCarthy brothers and a key member of the Limerick Murder Inc gang.
He was also heavily involved in 'dissident' republican criminal activity. At one stage gardai believed he was head of the Continuity IRA faction, running its extortion rackets and other activity.
A key figure in organised crime, Moran helped organise the murder of Limerick nightclub security manager and father-of-two Brian Fitzgerald, 32, in 2002.
The day after the murder, Moran personally collected the hitman, James Martin Cahill, who later came forward and confessed to his role in the killing.
As part of his evidence, Cahill revealed that Moran ordered him to carry out the murder, but gardai did not have enough evidence to charge the gang boss.
Gardai believe Moran was involved in the murder of the innocent rugby player, Shane Geoghegan, shot dead in mistake for another man in Limerick in November 2008.
He is known to have supplied the McCarthy-Dundons with two armour-plated bullet proof 4X4s in 2008 that the gang leaders were regularly seen driving near Limerick courthouse in full view of gardai and the judiciary.
He was also the chief suspect behind the gangland murder of drug trafficker and garda informant Declan Griffin in April 2003.
Moran lived in a heavily fortified house in Earlsfort View on the border of Clondalkin and Lucan with bulletproof windows and up to a dozen CCTV cameras mounted on the outside.
The murder puts further pressure on Gilligan, who is increasingly facing the prospect of fleeing Ireland in order to stay alive. Gardai last night said they believed the murder was directly linked to Moran's association with the drug trafficker who was trying to re-establish himself in the Dublin organised crime scene.
Unlike the botched attack on Gilligan, last night's murder was carried out with cool efficiency, gardai said. Moran was shot as he arrived at his home. The gunman was driven away and a short time later the car was found burning in Glen Vale in Lucan. Moran was pronounced dead on arrival at Tallaght Hospital.
Moran came from a traveller family background but became involved in crime and subversive activity in his 20s. He was under constant surveillance but managed to avoid convictions for any major crimes.
Gardai believe he was working in close association with Gilligan, who had developed links throughout his career with republican/criminal elements, with the intention of establishing a major criminal network in Dublin and Limerick to rival existing gangs. His death has put an end to this plan, gardai said last night.
The scene of last night's murder, at Earlsfort View, is only a mile from the John Gilligan's brother's home in the Greenfort estate in Clondalkin.
Both the attempted murder and last night's slaying are being investigated by gardai from Ronanstown Station.
The area is the centre of some of the worst gangland violence in the state.
Last month, James Talbot, 46, was shot dead at his home in the Abbeywood estate, a short distance from Moran's home.
Last Thursday night, father and son Martin and Lee Clarke, aged 53 and 27, were shot and injured outside their home in Clifden Road in Ballyfermot, about a mile from last night's killing.
Moran was also related to Melanie McCarthy, the teenager who was shot dead in Tallaght in February 2012.
JIM CUSACK, PAUL WILLIAMS and BARRY DUGGAN