Ireland's latest gangland victim may have been shot with his own gun
Ireland's latest gangland murder victim was shot with a handgun that he had intended to sell to his killers, gardai believe.
In an extremely well planned double cross, the garda probe is now focusing on whether north Dublin drug dealer Paul 'Ralph' Gallagher (26) was shot with a gun that he intended to sell to his killers after being lured to a secret meeting.
The Herald has also learned that among the four men who gardai suspect were in the Co Meath field when Gallagher was shot dead was a psychopath who is strongly linked to the IRA and INLA.
The sickening events of the night can be revealed as it has now emerged that a young man who drove the drug dealer to the remote scene may have witnessed his pal being shot dead.
He has not been arrested yet but sources say that gardai are aware of his identity and plan to obtain a statement from him in the coming days.
Sources say that murdered drug dealer 'Ralph' Gallagher was driven by his younger pal from their Donaghmede base to the murder field in Co Meath.
Investigations have established that both men got out of the car and entered the field where it is understood that Gallagher produced two handguns which he was told were to be sold. It's believed that one of the guns was then turned on Gallagher.
He did not realise that among the four criminals in the field was a close pal of a Drogheda drug dealer, who Gallagher is suspected of stealing a large quantity of cannabis herb, heroin and cocaine from last April.
Gardai believe another individual present was a psychopathic criminal originally from the North. He was also responsible for a security alert in Louth after gardai received intelligence that he was plotting to steal garda uniforms from a station there.
Also present was a major criminal from Donaghmede, now based in Balbriggan, who owned the stash of drugs that Gallagher is suspected of stealing last April.
Last weekend, the Herald revealed that Gallagher's killers spent weeks plotting the murder which was organised after the victim stole drugs.
The chief suspect for pulling the trigger is a highly volatile Donaghmede man who is aged in his early 20s.
He is known for violent crime and has a number of previous convictions.
The Dubliner has become a "big player" in the Louth and Meath drugs scene over the past year and is a major target for gardai in the north east and specialist units in the capital.
He is a key member of the 'Mr Big' drugs organisation and was one of the main participants in the feud with Alan Ryan's Real IRA faction which led to Ryan's murder in September, 2012.
Gallagher was buried on Tuesday at St Fintan's Cemetery in Sutton. A large crowd had attended his funeral mass at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede.
But the attendance would have been much bigger but some of Gallagher's associates were warned not to attend by criminals.