Commuters terrorised after failed gangland hit
Two men frantically tried to hijack cars at gunpoint in west Dublin after a botched murder attempt on a Dublin drug dealer.
The intended victim is described as the "number one target" in Dublin with several attempts on his life being made this year alone. He was shot and seriously injured in March but managed to flee his attackers and drive to Clondalkin Garda Station. A month later gardai recovered two handguns after they intercepted another attempt to murder him at Clanbrassil Street in south inner Dublin.
Garda sources say the man is the target of the Dublin drugs cartel under the control of the Christy Kinahan gang in Spain. He is suspected by the city's main drugs cartel of having given information that led to the seizure of two multi-million euro drugs shipments by gardai in the past year. On both occasions the drugs were intercepted as they were being shipped to Dublin from The North.
On last Friday evening at around 7pm, he escaped death yet again after a gun pointed at him at point blank range jammed. He drove away and turned up at Crumlin Garda Station telling gardai someone had tried to murder him. He said he was approached in a pub car park in the Knocklyon area by two men wearing balaclavas and both armed with handguns.
As gardai were taking his details, the gunmen who fled the scene in a black Volkswagen Golf were running into their own problems. They drove a short distance from the pub and tried to burn out their car in Ballycragh Park before switching to a Ford Transit. However, they were unable to start the van and went on foot on to the Old Bawn Road and began pointing their guns at motorists.
At least three car drivers reported having to swerve around them and accelerate away before the gunmen ran from the scene and disappeared.
Gardai called to the scene of the attempted hijackings recovered a .45 semi-automatic handgun which is believed to have been the weapon that had jammed and was ditched by the would-be assassins. They also recovered the partially burnt-out Volkswagen for forensic examination.
On the previous occasion last Friday's intended target was shot, two gunmen approached him as he was sitting in a Mini car in the car park of the Church of the Transfiguration in Clondalkin. That attack took place in front of children being collected from a creche in the church grounds.
He was shot three times in the neck and upper body but managed to drive off at speed to Clondalkin Garda Station, where he collapsed.
Friday night's attack is the latest in a series of murder attempts. A military-grade fragmentation grenade was thrown into a house he was living in June 2008. Gardai are aware of at least 10 other attempts to murder him and have repeatedly warned him of the threat to this life and advised him to leave Dublin.
Despite the threat to his life, he consistently refused to co-operate with gardai investigating the murder attempts.
It is believed a very substantial reward has been offered by the drugs cartel for his murder and several different affiliated gangs have been identified as having tried to kill him. A suspect in Friday night's attack is a man in his twenties from a well-known criminal family from the Drimnagh area.
So far this year, gangs associated with the Spanish-based Irish drugs cartel have been linked to at least three of the nine murders in Dublin. In January they shot dead Michael Devoy (42) in Tallaght; in February they shot James Talbot (46) in Lucan; and Dougie Moran (46) in March.