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Clondalkin shooting victim was convicted drug dealer

A young man shot dead in the back of a car just yards from his parents' home was a convicted drug dealer.

But detectives believe Dean Johnson, 20, operated on the fringe of the drugs scene and they are trying to establish a motive for his murder.

A lone gunman fired around five shots at Johnson last night as he sat in the rear seat of a red Volkswagen Golf on Moorfield Avenue, in Clondalkin, west Dublin.

He was hit in the shoulder and head and was later pronounced dead at Tallaght Hospital.

The car was being driven by a girlfriend of Johnson's friend who was picking up a group of them who were going on a night out.

Johnson lived on Moorfield Avenue with his mother and father and younger brother. It is understood his mother rushed to the bloody scene of the shooting after hearing the shots ringing out. He had a girlfriend of a few months.

One line of inquiry is that Johnson was involved in a row with gang members in the nearby Neilstown area at the weekend. But detectives have yet to establish whether the incident is relevant.

It is thought several witnesses would have seen the killer - who didn't use a mask - as he fled from the scene on foot in the direction of the Neilstown Road.

"There's no doubt he was seen," said one source. "It was broad daylight, there were people around."

He is described as being in his 20s, of stocky build and was wearing a dark hooded top and dark grey tracksuit bottoms.

The lone gunman used a semi-automatic 9mm pistol.

Johnson was convicted of supplying drugs three years ago after being caught with ecstasy tablets with a street value of €30,000. Because he was underage at the time, in the eyes of the law, he was put on probation.

But detectives said he was only a carrier. "He was not a big player," said one.

The murder happened about 400 metres from where two drug dealer brothers, Paul Corbally, 35, and Kenneth Corbally, 32, were shot dead last summer.

Earlier yesterday, a 23-year-old man was shot in the shoulder in the Cabra House pub on Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, north Dublin.

A Garda spokeswoman said the victim refused medical attention for his injuries, which are not life-threatening.

Investigators have appealed for witnesses.