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Gardai search for links in Traveller murders

Gardai are trying to establish if there is a link between the murder of a man at a halting site in Dublin at the weekend and the shooting of another Traveller in the area last July.

Detectives are trying to find a motive for the killing of Tom McDonagh (49), who was shot repeatedly at his home at St Margaret's site in Ballymun on the northside of the city.

They suspect that a Finglas-based gang is responsible for the murder.

Last night, officers were examining possible links between the incident on Saturday night and an ambush at the River Road in Finglas on July 15 last year when Anthony "Mole" McDonagh narrowly escaped death after he stopped his white Ford van at what he thought were county council roadworks. He was hit in the chest, stomach and side but survived the attack.

The latest victim was alone when two men burst into his home and fired a barrage of shots from an automatic pistol. Mr McDonagh was dead on admission to hospital. Gardai are now following a number of lines of inquiry as they examine CCTV footage and trawl through statements from other residents of the halting site.

The dead man was not a big criminal player. However, detectives are trying to establish whether his death was a result of his links to a group involved in feuding or a result of a personal debt to a crime gang operating in west Dublin.

Irish Independent