AN English criminal is believed to have been paid around €20,000 to shoot drug dealer Benny Whitehouse outside a north Co Dublin school.
There have been no arrests so far in the murder investigation into Whitehouse's murder which happened at 9am on September 25, shortly after the dad-of-one dropped his daughter off at school.
But new details about the aftermath of the murder have now emerged.
The 36-year-old's innocent partner Natasha White was hit in the leg as Whitehouse tried to escape the hail of bullets in Clonard Street in Balbriggan.
The Herald can reveal that officers located a burnt out 4x4 near Ardee, Co Louth, two days after the shooting.
They believe this was used to transport the hitman from an area behind Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan.
A Ford Focus car which was used as a getaway vehicle was set on fire at that location shortly after the hit.
It is understood that the hitman acted on his own when he pumped a number of bullets into Whitehouse and even drove himself away from the murder scene before he was then driven out of the town by another man.
Locals in the town have told the Herald of their growing concerns after a number of other shootings and violent incidents in the locality over the past year.
"There is major concern around here, the gardai are just so stretched.
"The situation is serious and people are wondering what is going to happen next," one concerned local said.
Sources say that some close associates of Whitehouse have called for revenge for the murder but it is understood that the mob who murdered him are "far more powerful" as they are one of the biggest drug-dealing gangs operating in Co Louth and north Co Dublin.
Whitehouse had been involved in a bitter feud with this crew, whose leader is facing serious charges before the courts.
The feud started as a row over an unpaid drugs debt but escalated after a number of violent incidents in Balbriggan including a woman being beaten up in front of her children.
The English hitman is understood to be a key member of the gang who were feuding with Whitehouse and his associates.
The leader of his mob is a much-feared 32-year-old criminal who has a large number of previous convictions.
He has linked up with a major crime gang from Swords and has been trying to exert control over the crime scene in north county Dublin and south Louth.
The gang have now moved into a number of 'legitimate' businesses in an attempt to launder the vast amounts of cash which they are making from the drugs business.