Saturday 17 March 2018

Fears for two brothers of man shot dead outside Dublin school who face renewed death threats from dangerous mob

Benny Whitehouse who was shot dead in Balbriggan
Benny Whitehouse who was shot dead in Balbriggan
Cliff Whitehouse, whose brother Benny was shot dead in Balbriggan

Ken Foy Crime Correspondent

Two brothers of a man shot dead outside a Dublin school are facing renewed death threats from the dangerous mob who murdered him.

Gardai are on high alert that slain Benny Whitehouse's older brothers Jimmy and Cliff will become the next targets of a gang considered one of the most dangerous in the State.

Both men have been previously warned about a death threat against their lives from the Traveller gang.

The siblings are understood to have been given fresh security advice by officers based in Drogheda, Co Louth, in recent days.

Sources have revealed that gardai have put a special security plan in place to protect the brothers after a close associate of the criminal who leads the rival faction was released from jail.

"This is a very serious situation that gardai are monitoring very closely," a source said last night.

Benny Whitehouse (35) was shot dead at Clonard Street, Balbriggan, at 9am on September 25, 2014, in front of his partner as part of a bitter feud that had seen a number of violent incidents before and since.

The gang suspected of killing Whitehouse are also the chief suspects in the suspected murders of Tallaght man Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21).

The young couple were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of April 14 last year.

One theory being investigated is that the couple were murdered because they were trying to break links with the dangerous Traveller gang that they had been associated with in the months before their disappearance.

The couple made a desperate phone call pleading for help on the day they disappeared.

Ms Varslavane said "help, help, help" in a call to Mr Maughan's family.

Their voices could be heard before the phone went dead after several seconds.

In February of last year, Cliff Whitehouse (40) was jailed for four months for his role in a violent feud-related incident outside a Balbriggan school while many people were dropping off their children.

During the incident a vehicle mounted the footpath and a number of people, including a woman who was due to give birth that day, had to jump out of the way.

Whitehouse was later arrested and told gardai he had agreed to go to the school that morning to act as security because threats had been issued against members of his family.

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