Monday 18 December 2017

Gang linked to botched attack on drug dealer

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

A NORTH Dublin-based gang of drug dealers and extortionists is believed to have been behind the attempted murder of a 63-year-old convicted drug trafficker yesterday.

Gardai took possession of a car and made house-to-house inquiries in Furry Park Road in Killester after the attempt on the life of Eamon Kelly.

He received a 14-year sentence in 1993 after being convicted of smuggling cocaine into Ireland. He was sentenced to three years in 1988 for an assault on Workers' Party member Pat Quearney in Parnell Square, Dublin.

A lone gunman forced his way into Kelly's house at 10am yesterday but the gun he was carrying apparently misfired and he and an accomplice ran off to a waiting getaway car. Kelly was uninjured.

It appears that the attackers drove into Furry Park with the intention of abandoning the car after the attack and then escaping in the second car parked in an adjoining street.

The incident is the fourth gangland attack since the murder of gang leader Eamon Dunne, 33, who was shot dead as he was attending a birthday party at the Faussaugh House pub in Cabra, north Dublin on April 23.

On Sunday, July 25, three men were shot at the Players Lounge pub on Fairview in north Dublin. Two customers recovered but doorman Wayne Barrett, 31, from Finglas is on life support. All three are innocent victims.

Brian O'Reilly, 41, from north Dublin, was shot and injured in Donough's pub in Laytown, Co Meath, on August 7. Mr O'Reilly was a pall bearer at Eamon Dunne's funeral.

Among those involved in the feuding in north Dublin are members of a gang of extortionists who style themselves the 'Real' IRA.

However, gardai say none has any genuine republican views and are using the paramilitary name to frighten pub and club owners into paying their extortion demands.

Eamon Kelly has no links to the so-called 'dissidents' and has not been involved in political activity of any kind since the early 1980s when he was associated with members of the Workers' Party.

At his trial in 1988, a detective sergeant gave evidence that he had known Kelly for seven years and knew him to associate with "hardened and dangerous" criminals. Kelly also has convictions for offences including burglary and breach of the peace.

His trial for cocaine smuggling heard that he had acquired the drug from a source in Florida. The cocaine was seized after gardai followed a Cuban national, with an address in Miami, from Dublin Airport to Irishtown, where the woman and Kelly were arrested in a car stopped by armed detectives.

Also yesterday, the Army's Ordnance Corps was called out to deal with a suspected bomb at the back of a house in Benna's Villas in Laytown, Co Meath.

The device, consisting of metal pipes, a battery and wires, turned out to be a hoax. Dissident-republican extortionists are believed to be behind most of the devices found in the past few years.

Sunday Independent

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