Thursday 17 October 2019

Gardaí quiz sex offender over gang feud 'murder plot'

Stock photo. Photo: PA
Stock photo. Photo: PA

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A career criminal who detectives believe was recruited by a drugs gang to murder one of their rivals is a convicted sex offender.

The 55-year-old man, who has been living in Co Wexford but is originally from Tallaght, was one of the three suspects arrested by armed gardaí when they foiled a murder attempt on a 27-year-old on Saturday afternoon.

He is expected to appear before court this morning charged in connection with the case.

The two other men who were arrested in the operation in the Raheny area - a father and son with close links to murdered drug dealer Sean Little - were released without charge yesterday and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Sources have told the Irish Independent the convicted sex offender is believed to have been enlisted by a gang based in Coolock to carry out the shooting and he was arrested with a gun and spare clothes, as well as a can of petrol.

"The gang who organised this hit have plenty of cash and contacts in the criminal underworld - this dangerous individual agreed to work for them but he was intercepted on Saturday," a senior source said.

The Tallaght man is on the sex offenders' register after he was jailed over a decade ago for the brutal sexual assault of a woman in Dublin.

Since then, he has run into trouble with the law for failing to comply with sex offender legislation, but he is also known to gardaí for offences such as assault, robbery and drug-dealing.

The heroin addict also has links to Daniel McDonnell (24), who is serving a life sentence for the gun murder of tragic teen Melanie McCarthy-McNamara in Tallaght over seven years ago. It is understood that the arrested 55-year-old has previously been warned of threats against his life and moved to Co Wexford for this reason.

Gardaí carried out a number of searches of properties linked to the suspect in Co Wexford on Saturday, but no additional arrests were made.

The target of the foiled murder attempt is a 27-year-old Dublin criminal who has worked for the Kinahan cartel and is also linked to the 'Mr Flashy' drugs gang. He has been arrested by detectives probing the feud shooting of James "Mago" Gately in 2017.

The man has been blamed for involvement in an escalating dispute in the Coolock area, including the murder of Little.

Little was lured to a laneway in Walshestown in May before being shot dead. Associates of Little have blamed the under-threat hitman for involvement in the murder.

Irish Independent

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