Fears of revenge attacks after friends shot dead hours apart
Gardaí fear further bloodshed following the murder of a criminal in an apparent gangland double cross.
Sean Little (22) was shot dead in Dublin just 17 hours before his close friend Jordan Davis (22) was gunned down.
Detectives are probing if the murders are linked, however they are investigating a number of possible motives and are keeping an open mind.
Little was killed in Balbriggan on Tuesday night, while Davis was gunned down in Darndale shortly before 4pm on Wednesday.
Little, originally from Coolock, was a close associate of a Finglas gang boss known as 'Mr Flashy'.
This crime group has been involved in a number of violent feuds in Dublin, and gardaí fear it will retaliate after the killing of its close associate.
"He was close to 'Mr Flashy' and his gang, and these links were obvious in the number of criminals who openly paid their respects to him after the murder.
"There is a very real concern that retaliation attacks will be carried out against those responsible for the killing," a source said.
Detectives are now expected to step up surveillance on a number of gang members in a bid to prevent further bloodshed.
Investigating gardaí are following a number of lines of inquiry, including that one or both killings are linked to a veteran Dublin criminal.
The criminal, aged in his 60s, was once connected to a dissident terror group.
Sources said this individual's car and home were targeted in recent months, while property was also stolen from the house.
It is being probed if Little or Davis were blamed for this and targeted as a result.
Meanwhile, Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy yesterday made a stark plea to young people not to get involved in the drugs trade at any level. "We are really appealing to the young people who are out there at the moment, not only in our city of Dublin but across the country, please do not get involved at any level with the drugs trade," said Mr Leahy.
"We consistently hear comments like 'he's only doing a little bit of low-level dealing' or 'he's only taking a little bit of gear here and there', but what we are saying to the public and to parents and to young men and women is please, please, please do not get involved at any level," he added.
"Low-level dealing now is enough to have your life taken at a young age and we have seen it time and time again," he said.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday confirmed that he had spoken to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and the Garda Commissioner about the murders.
"The information that we have is that these killings are most likely related to drugs and organised crime and are not linked to the other feuds - the Kinihan feud and the Drogheda feud," he said.