Gangland target 'Bottler' defies hitmen by strutting topless on road where sister and friend shot
This is gangland murder target Derek 'Bottler' Devoy strutting topless on his home turf outside the house where his sister and best friend were brutally shot dead by machine gun-wielding hitmen.
Despite his life still being under threat, Devoy stepped out in Ballymun to prepare for the funerals of innocent victims Antoinette Corbally-Devoy (47) and Clinton Shannon (30), who were gunned down on August 16.
Their funerals took place this morning in Ballymun and Laytown. Devoy (37), whose brother Mickey was shot dead in 2014, was the intended target of the attack, in which a kill team waited in a car for him to arrive home before launching the horror gun attack.
Mr Shannon had just dropped off his friend in Balbutcher Drive when machine gun fire rang out.
Devoy, who was carrying a child in his arms, dropped the youngster and fled through Antoinette's house to escape the hail of bullets. But his sister, a mother-of-six, and Mr Shannon died in the burst of gunfire.
Career criminal Devoy was yesterday seen visiting the house where Antoinette was lying in repose ahead of today's funeral.
Wearing just tracksuit bottoms and trainers, he was spotted comforting a woman at the scene.
Members of the garda armed response unit and detectives in unmarked cars have been routinely patrolling the streets of Ballymun in the aftermath of the murders as tensions remain high in the area.
An armed response vehicle was on Balbutcher Drive when Devoy was on the road.
Two hitmen connected to the deadly Hutch mob are being blamed for the bloodbath.
Gardai initially believed that the murders marked an escalation in a bitter local feud that saw a number of violent incidents in the 36 hours before the murders, but have since ruled this theory out.
Associates of Devoy blame the killings on a north inner city hit team associated with the Hutch mob that had been planning to murder the career criminal.
"Bottler's crew firmly believe that the fellas that carried out this are from the north inner city. They don't care what the cops think," a source said.
Among the two criminals being blamed by Devoy's gang is the chief suspect for the 2014 slaying of Bottler's brother, Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy (41), who was murdered shortly after his release from Portlaoise Prison.
His body was discovered riddled with bullets on the side of a road in Bohernabreena, at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, on January 18, 2014. The military-trained hitman behind the attack on 'Bottler' two weeks ago is aged in his mid-20s and is also a suspect in the Hutch/Kinahan feud murder of Michael Keogh, killed by the Hutch mob in the north inner city in May.
A senior source previously told the Herald: "This gun for hire is a heavy hitter in terms of organised crime and he has close links to a number of gangs, including both sides of the feud.
"He is involved in extortion and debt collection and is associated with Provos in the north inner city."
The other suspected hitman has been closely monitored by gardai. They believe he could be used at a "minute's notice" to carry out the murder of a rival Kinahan cartel member. Aged in his 40s, he has been out of jail since 2013.
He served a lengthy prison sentence after being busted following a major surveillance operation by the gardai's Organised Crime Unit.
Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who is leading the investigation, said the cars that were used in the murder had been bought weeks before.
He added that a silver Opel Zafira - registration 08-LS-3101 - was parked beside a building site at the junction of Balbutcher Lane and Balbutcher Drive for at least an hour before the shooting.
"From this vantage point, the occupants had a clear view of the location where the murders took place," he said.
"When the intended target of the gunmen drove into Balbutcher Drive, the Opel Zafira left its vantage point and followed the intended target to the location of the murders.
"The intended target escaped injury. However, two innocent persons were murdered and two others were injured."
Gardai are now asking members of the public if they noticed this vehicle parked beside the building site on the day of the murder, or indeed at any other time.
Following the double killing, the occupants abandoned the Zafira and fled the scene on foot through bollards at the end of Balbutcher Drive on to Cranogue Terrace. A black Volkswagen Golf GTI - registration number 06-LH-3466 - was waiting and drove them away.
It travelled across Ballymun in the direction of Ikea, on through the Northwood business, retail and housing development and into Santry Close, where it was set on fire.