Handguns seized, pipe bomb threats and a pub brawl - Tensions rise in bitter local feud
Gangland tensions in a north Dublin suburb are threatening to spiral out of control after a series of violent incidents in a bitter local feud that has links to the Kinahan cartel.
Today's Herald reports on how a feud between a cartel-linked thug known as ‘Mr Flashy’ and older gangsters in the area is at breaking point after a series of violent incidents, garda busts and terrifying death threats.
In a series of tit-for-tat incidents, the latest drama unfolded on Tuesday night, when a 30-year-old who is suspected of being enlisted by Mr Flashy's crew was busted with two handguns, ammunition and a smoke grenade after being chased by uniformed gardai in Casement Drive, Finglas.
A set of keys for a stolen car, which had false number plates, was also recovered nearby when gardai from the local drugs unit pounced on the suspect shortly after 10.35pm on Tuesday.
Gardai are investigating if the man, who lives in the Cabra area of the northside, was on his way to carry out a revenge murder for the ‘Mr Flashy’ faction after days of simmering tension in the suburb.
The 30-year-old remained in custody last night at Finglas Garda Station as officers battle to prevent a bloodbath in the beleaguered suburb.
“While this individual was not previously closely aligned to either of the factions involved in the feud, all the indications are that he has been hired out by the young Kinahan-aligned drug dealer who has been causing mayhem in the locality for the past year,” a senior source said last night.
“The fact that he was caught with a smoke bomb in a rucksack, which he discarded, is also an unusual and worrying development.”
The arrest of the suspect happened just over seven hours after Finglas Garda Station had to be evacuated when an innocent member of the public walked into the station with a crudely made but viable pipe bomb.
Gardai are investigating reports that Mr Flashy’s gang was involved in throwing the device at a bitter rivals in a small housing estate located close to the garda station earlier in the day, before it was retrieved by a member of the public who then took the bomb into the station.
Members of the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit were called to the scene, before eventually removing the device at about 5pm.
“The expectation is that there are going to be multiple murders in Finglas because of this dispute. There are some heavy hitters involved and tensions are completely off the charts,” a source said last night.
“People are of the view that this dispute could get every bit as nasty and dangerous as the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, which ended up claiming over 15 lives.”
Armed garda patrols have increased in the area ever since Hutch gang-linked criminal Glen O’Toole (39) was arrested in the Ashtown area while on his way to murder the flashy drug dealer three weeks ago.
O’Toole was arrested with a loaded firearm, a silencer, a canister of petrol and a Halloween mask by Finglas gardai.
He was charged in relation to the arrest but died by suicide in prison last week, and it is understood he had been threatened by the Kinahan cartel- linked drugs mob before he took his own life.
Just days after O’Toole’s arrest, Mr Flashy’s gang was suspected of shooting up the family home of an innocent member of the Hutch family in a revenge attack.
Mr Flashy’s mob is also suspected of beating up another innocent Hutch family member in a daylight attack in a supermarket car park last week.
In the aftermath of this incident, a teenage Hutch family member fled the Finglas area and went into hiding because of threats against him.
Days later, the situation further escalated when a violent brawl broke out in a Finglas pub.
A group of older criminals, who had been pals with O’Toole – including gangland hardman David ‘SOS’ Mulvey, as well as his right-hand man and close associates of previous gangland murder victims David Thomas and Daniel Gaynor – confronted Mr Flashy and some of his associates and chased them out of the pub.
“This was a violent incident and the older criminals left it in no doubt that they were not in any way afraid of the younger crew, who were effectively forced to run away from them,” a source said.
This has led to major fears associates of Mulvey will now be dragged into a bitter gang war with the rival younger outfit.
Local sources say that Mr Flashy’s mob are now threatening to murder up to five of their rivals and there are major fears that the Kinahan-backed mobsters could use Halloween night next week to carry out their revenge.
However, the introduction of Mulvey (35) and his associates into the feud has caused major concern for gardai.
Mulvey, of Berryfield Drive, Finglas, previously served 10 years in consecutive jail sentences for the attempted armed robbery of a post office and possession of a loaded double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun.
Another associate of the older criminals who could get sucked into the gang war is criminal Alan ‘Fatpuss’ Bradley (43), who recently returned to Portloaise Prison to serve the remaining few weeks of a sentence he received for conspiracy to commit a huge robbery.
Bradley has been a long-term target for Mr Flashy, leading to a major garda alert in April, when officers received information that a 21-year-old criminal from the Blanchardstown area was driving around in a high-powered Audi car and was intending to shoot either Bradley or his younger brother Wayne on the orders of the rival gang.
As tensions remain extremely high, the Herald can reveal that Mr Flashy and his mob threatened to ram the funeral of gangland hitman O’Toole on Saturday.
Local sources say that the criminal grouping had “three stolen cars offside” but did not continue with their plot because of the armed garda presence at the funeral.
The main players in the growing rivalry
The 25-year-old flashy drug dealer who has had personal dealings with cartel kingpin Daniel Kinahan has been at the centre of organised crime in Finglas for well over a year.
Despite heightened garda activity against him in recent months, he has managed to evade serious charges.
The thug likes to flaunt his wealth and is often seen wearing trainers worth more than €300 and expensive designer clothes.
He has regularly been seen in a popular south-inner city nightclub.
It is understood he suffered facial injuries in last week’s pub brawl against older criminals. His mob came out worse.
David ‘SOS’ Mulvey
Mulvey (35) is a veteran of the capital’s gangland scene and had been keeping a relatively low profile until last week’s pub brawl.
He served 10 years in consecutive jail sentences for attempted armed robbery and possession of a loaded double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun.
‘SOS’ previously had close connections with Derek ‘Bottler’ Devoy (34), who was the intended target of a gangland hit in August, in which Devoy’s sister and his pal were shot dead in Ballymun.
There are now major fears that Mulvey’s introduction into the Finglas feud will lead to an escalation of violence.
Alan ‘Fatpuss’ Bradley
Bradley (43) is back in jail, serving the last few weeks of his jail sentence after he won a High Court action against the Minister for Justice in relation to prison remission time.
‘Fatpuss’, his brother Wayne and other ‘Don’ gang members pleaded guilty in the Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland in November 2007 at Tesco, Celbridge, Co Kildare.
He was sentenced in April 2012 to nine years, with the final two years suspended. This sentence was reduced on appeal to eight years with 18 months suspended.
The gang targeting ‘Fatpuss’ comprise at least 10 “out-of-control” individuals. They have links to more senior criminals including a family-based mob whose members have convictions for drug dealing and firearms offences.
Glen ‘Glynn’ O’Toole was pals with ‘Fatpuss’ and ‘SOS’ but took his own life in Cloverhill Prison earlier this month after being charged in relation to a murder attempt on ‘Mr Flashy’.
O’Toole (39), of Cappagh Avenue, Finglas, had been in Cloverhill Prison for just a few days after being charged with possession of a loaded gun and ammunition in the Ashtown area of Dublin.
He was found dead under the sink in his cell.
The close associate of a female member of the Hutch family had placed objects in his bed and covered them with a blanket to make it look like he was asleep when prison officers were carrying out inspections.
O’Toole was the chief suspect in the shooting of Finglas criminal Kevin Ledwidge (27), who was gunned down outside his family home in 2007.