A feared Hutch gangster was shot dead last night hours before he was due to carry the coffin of his close friend Derek Coakley Hutch today.
Jason 'Buda' Molyneaux (26) was shot six times in a callous attack at James Larkin House in the North Strand area of Dublin. Molyneaux was hit four times in the chest and twice in the stomach by a lone gunman.
Detectives received reports of a male dressed in black fleeing the scene at James Larkin House on foot shortly before 9.45pm.
A burnt-out car was found in the Fairview area just minutes from the scene of the murder.
Sources said that Molyneaux had been wearing a bullet-proof vest in recent months amid fears he would be targeted, but he was not wearing the kevlar vest last night.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and paramedics worked on the gangland target for some time, but he was pronounced dead a short time later in the Mater Hospital.
"Molyneaux was the most wanted man in the city. He had at least four or fives groups after him, including the Kinahan cartel and gangsters linked to Derek 'Bottler' Devoy," a source told the Irish Independent.
It is understood Molyneaux may have known his killer, RTE News reported this morning.
They report that ‘Buda’ Molyneaux may have arranged to meet his killer, and seemingly trusted his killer to speak with him briefly before he was attacked.
Gardai are appealing for information on a vehicle which they believe was used in the murder last night.
Senior officers at Store Street garda station held a press briefing this morning, where they appealed for information on a white Renault Kangoo, registration 10-D-126064.
This vehicle was found partially burnt out near the East Link toll bridge and gardai are hopeful that valuable forensic evidence can be recovered from this car.
Gardaí who responded to last night's shooting 'could have witnessed' the gun attack due to the quick response, according to Supt Gerry Murphy.
Supt Murphy also described the shooting as a "callous murder" and said that a full investigation was underway.
"At approximately 9.45pm last night gardai came upon a shooting incident where Jason Molyneux was a victim of a shooting. He was shot a number of times. He was dealt with at the scene by ambulance people before being transferred to the Mater Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead," Supt Murphy said.
Gardaí are appealing for people who were in the vicinity of the scene of the shooting on North Strand Road last night to contact them.
"It's very important to understand, whatever information you have, let us make the decision on how valuable that information is in the overall investigation.
"Following the shooting witnesses are indicating to us that a male left the scene, no better described than in dark clothing We don't know the direction (he went) at this stage".
"Subsequently to the shooting at approximately 12.07am we located a vehicle. It's a (white) Renault Kangoo vehicle, registration number 10-D 126064," Supt Murphy said.
This vehicle was located on the East-Link Toll bridge at a walkway leading onto York Road.
"That vehicle was found partially burnt out and we believe that vehicle may have been involved in the incident.
"Our appeal to the general public is, has anyone seen that vehicle in the last number of days. Has anyone seen that vehicle in the locality prior to the shooting and in particular has anyone seen that vehicle between 9.46 and 12.09 am last night into this morning," Supt Murphy said.
"What I can say to the general public is we have a full investigation underway. We have the support of the national units, full technical team involved. We have appointed a family liaison officer to the Molyneux family at this stage.
"This is a callous murder. This is a murder that has occurred in an area that has been subject of a number of murders in the past. We need the help of the community to assist us.
"On this particular occasion one of our patrols came across the incident. One of our patrols could have actually witnessed the incident it was here that quickly. We are in the vicinity all the time. We have tactical armed support units in the north east inner city as part of Operation Hybrid and we have dedicated community policing in this area."
The senior garda also said that there has been "no reduction in resources" in the North East inner city.
Gardaí are probing if Molyneaux's murder is linked to the ongoing feud with the Kinahan cartel - he would be the 15th victim of the bloody gang war.
Another line of inquiry is that the shooting was carried out in revenge for the murder of two innocent people in Ballymun last August.
Molyneaux was the chief suspect in that murder which left mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally (48) and locksmith Clinton Shannon (30) dead.
The intended target of that shooting was Derek 'Bottler' Devoy, who escaped the scene on Balbutcher Drive.
Last night's murder victim was also being investigated for the feud murder of Michael Keogh (37), who was found dead with gunshot wounds in an underground car park off Dorset Street last May. His north-inner-city home was raided by detectives investigating the killing but he had not been formally arrested.
His associate Graham 'Choco' Byrne was shot outside the National Stadium by a man armed with a handgun on Friday night.
Volatile Molyneaux was distraught about the murder of his close friend Derek Coakley Hutch on January 20 and in a fit of rage he beat two men with a wheel brace after the murder.
Molyneaux, one of Dublin's most feared criminals, had 122 convictions and was closely linked to the Hutch mob.
The Garda Representative Association this morning tweeted; "MANAGE BUDGETS & SAVE LIVES: Yet another horrific gang related murder - this time in North Dublin.
"Government and senior garda management have now no choice but to restore - as a minimum - the budget needed to ensure essential 24/7 armed and frontline cover in the Capital [sic]."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Store Street on 01 66 8000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1 800 666 111 or any garda station.