News Crime

Saturday 20 January 2018

Associate of John Gilligan fears he is next on hitlist as feud claims fourth victim

  • John Gibson shot dead on Monday a week after his pal Darragh Nugent
  • Close mutual friend of Gibson and Gilligan is believed to be latest target
  • Criminal has taken to social media to post a tribute to murdered friend
A burned out van, which gardaí suspect was the getaway vehicle, sits at Verschoyle Green near the scene of the shooting. Picture: Collins

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

A close associate of gangster John Gilligan fears he will be the next target for the drugs gang behind two gun murders in just seven days.

Gilligan's associate, who is facing serious drugs and firearms charges, was the close pal of the Clondalkin feud's latest murder victim John Gibson (28), who was shot in the head and at least three times in the body in an attack in Tallaght, Dublin, at 9.20pm on Monday.

Gibson's murder was the fourth of the entrenched Clondalkin drugs feud and officers have been investigating if he was targeted after swearing revenge for the murder of his pal Darragh Nugent (36).

Father-of-three Nugent was shot dead on Wheatfield Avenue in Neilstown almost exactly a week before Gibson was slain. A close mutual friend of both may be the next target for the dangerous west Dublin drugs gang and gardaí are monitoring the threat to Gilligan's associate.

Darragh Nugent, a father of three, was gunned down
Darragh Nugent, a father of three, was gunned down

"All the indications are that this is what he thinks himself at least. This is looking like a wipe-out situation and this fella was very close to the other two victims," a senior source said last night.

"Information has come in that he went missing on Monday night after hearing about the murder of his friend Mr Gibson. He was completely distraught and is understood to be also very worried now about his own safety," the source added.

John Gibson leaving Blanchardstown District Court. Blanchardstown, Dublin.
John Gibson leaving Blanchardstown District Court. Blanchardstown, Dublin.

The criminal, who is aged in his early 20s, has since been located and has even taken to social media to post comments in tribute to his murdered pal.

Gardaí are investigating if one of the capital's most dangerous drug gangs plan to make him their next target as part of a deadly west Dublin turf-war.

This man and the two murdered men were closely linked to jailed Clondalkin hitman James 'Nellie' Walsh.

Gardaí believe the murders of Nugent and Gibson were carried out by a west Dublin crime group who are intent on "wiping out" Walsh's gang.

Lost his empire: John Gilligan
Lost his empire: John Gilligan

However, sources say that after two brutal gun murders in the space of a week, Walsh's associates may also now attempt to strike back and the gang are understood to have the backing of a number of Crumlin criminals.

They are already responsible for one of the feud's four unsolved murders - that of the rival mob's kingpin Jason 'Jay' Carroll (39), who was shot once in the face and twice in the arm at his home at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin in August, 2013.

Carroll's murder was in retaliation for a tragic incident in which innocent Dean Johnson was shot dead in a mistaken identity in which rival gang had tried to murder 'Nellie' five days earlier.

"This feud has now claimed four lives, it definitely has the potential to take many more on both sides, but it is Nellie's crowd who are looking the much weaker now," a senior source said.

"He is locked up, two of his closest associates have been murdered in a space of week this month and another is under grave threat. This is a very serious situation," the source added.

Irish Independent

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