Armed gardai hunt for thug 'Whacker' Duffy after city arson attack
Armed gardai were last night hunting for INLA thug Declan 'Whacker' Duffy after a car owned by an innocent businessman was burnt out by associates of the gangland thug.
The shocking incident unfolded at the man's house in north Dublin, on Tuesday night.
Neighbours said they heard a "commotion and shouting" before the car was "engulfed in flames" shortly after 11.40pm.
The respected businessman in his 60s heard a loud bang and ran out of the property to observe that the vehicle was on fire.
Gardai from Ballymun are investigating the incident.
Sources said that an "accellerant" had been used in the sinister attack.
Gardai are investigating whether convicted killer Duffy (41) is behind the campaign of harassment which includes threatening emails and phone calls against the man over an alleged debt.
It is believed that the businessman owes a debt to another individual who has in turn hired Duffy in relation to the debt.
"It is being treated as criminal damage by fire," said a source but the incident is so serious that armed detectives were brought in to hunt for Duffy. No arrests had been made last night.
Originally from Armagh, Duffy joined the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in the 1980s and he was still a teenager when he was involved in the murder of Sergeant Michael Newman in Derby, England in 1992.
It was not until July, 2010, that he was convicted and received a life sentence for this murder of the unarmed police officer was shot once through the side of the head at point-blank range as he reached his car.
However Duffy was released from jail just a couple of years later under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Before being convicted of that murder Duffy had served jail time here for membership of the INLA as well as his role in the infamous Ballymount Bloodbath.
In 1999 his group took six men from a rival gang hostage and beat and tortured them in Ballymount industrial estate near Walkinstown.
During a bitter fight, INLA man Patrick Campbell was killed by machete blows.
Duffy served nine years in prison for false imprisonment and possession of a gun.
He was released in 2007 but immediately became involved in a bitter gangland feud with dangerous criminals based in the south inner city, Crumlin and Tallaght areas of the capital.
One of those thugs was gangland poster boy 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
'Whacker' was convicted of membership of an illegal organisation in 2008.