Drug dealer and suspected hitmen among mourners at funeral of shooting victim Zach Parker
- Presence shows close links among gangs in the northside drugs trade
- Parker thought to have owed €50k to a local Traveller gang
NOTORIOUS drug dealer ‘Mr Flashy’ turned up with two suspected hitmen at the funeral of Zach Parker.
The north Dublin trio were among a large crowd of mourners at the funeral of the capital’s first gun murder of the year.
Also in attendance was an up-and-coming Coolock-based drugs dealer who has links to the Kinahan cartel and is said to be “absolutely devastated” about the murder of his close friend Zach.
Sources said the presence of the gangsters and their associates show the close links that have developed among gangs based in Swords, Ballymun, Finglas and Coolock in the northside’s lucrative drugs trade.
“These are the new breed of young dealers – some of them would not even have been born when John Gilligan’s gang murdered Veronica Guerin back in 1996,” a source said.
“These are young men who like the finer things in life – designer clothes, expensive cars and beautiful women – some of them are making huge money from drugs trafficking,” the source added.
At Thursday’s funeral, many of the floral tributes to Parker displayed the logos of fashion labels such as Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen.
One was shaped in the form of a Rolex watch, with a working clock as a centrepiece.
A massive garda investigation is ongoing into the murder of Parker (23) who was shot dead outside a Swords gym on Thursday, January 17.
The most prominent theory is that Parker owes €50,000 to a dangerous local Traveller gang that is closely aligned with jailed mobster Cornelius Price and who may have used a young Finglas-based criminal to organise the slaying.
Gardai are concerned that there may be retaliation for Parker’s murder especially because he is friends with some of the capital’s most active criminals.
This includes pint-sized drugs boss ‘Mr Flashy’ who was accompanied by the two notorious hitmen for hire, including the chief suspect in the feud shooting of Hutch gangster James ‘Mago’ Gately in a botched murder attempt in Clonshaugh in May 2017 on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.
Independent.ie has learned two masked men were spotted near Mr Flashy’s Finglas base last week in a Northern Irish registered car, but they fled the area before gardai could interact with them.
The ‘Mago’ shooter is currently based in the capital’s south inner city and is subject to a surveillance operation by detectives at Pearse Street Garda Station.
As part of their operations, they recently charged a close female associate of the criminal with a number of motoring offences.
It is suspected the Kinahan cartel hitman is actively recruiting vulnerable teenagers from his south inner city flat complex to carry out attacks on behalf of the crime gang.
Independent.ie previously revealed how the hitman for hire paid €5,000 to have reinforced doors put into his social housing apartment in the south inner city.
He is the chief suspect in at least one murder in north Dublin as well as four other gun attacks.
Gardai also suspect the criminal was behind a spate of non-fatal shooting incidents in the Ballymun area last summer.
Among the victims was an innocent young woman who was shot in the kneecap in July.
The gangster was previously arrested in August of last year for a botched murder attempt on Hutch gang associate Gately three months earlier.
We previously revealed he was questioned for two days at Santry Garda Station about the botched hit on ‘Mago’ and was then brought to court because of outstanding bench warrants against him.
‘Mr Flashy’ was one of the main protagonists in the bitter Finglas feud, which has eased off in recent months.
There have been numerous arson attacks, assaults and several firearms have been recovered, while one man has been shot and another escaped with his life after gunmen burst into his home when he wasn’t there as part of the Finglas feud.
The Kinahan-backed drug dealer was the main target for rival mobsters and was the only criminal involved in the warfare to be officially warned by gardai about an active threat to his life.
Gardai continue to closely monitor many of Parker’s other associates including the Coolock trafficker who was so shocked over his pal’s death that he briefly “called a halt” to his drug dealing and cash-gathering activities.
“A lot of people are very upset but none so much as this fella. He was very close to Zach, they did a lot of business together,” a source said.
“It seems that Zach considered himself almost untouchable because of his relationship with him as the Coolock trafficker has links to young members of the Kinahan cartel based in the Crumlin area of the southside,” the source added.
However, none of this mattered to the gang who murdered Zack and injured his completely innocent pal James Morrison (25) in the gun attack.
CCTV could play a crucial role in identifying the killer.
Parker, who worked as a barber, died after at least five shots were fired into the BMW X5 he was travelling in with his friend, Mr Morrison, in the passenger seat.
Gardai said although the second man was injured, CCTV footage indicates the killer approached the driver’s side of the car only and fired directly at Parker.
The Herald previously revealed Parker’s car had been burnt out and he was involved in a recent incident in which a house was stormed as a local drugs dispute threatened to spiral out of all control.
“The local Traveller gang remain the chief suspects and their twisted logic seems to be that they were putting down a marker to other young fellas who owe them cash and there is plenty of them,” a source explained.
“The victim Mr Parker was a kind of Jekyll and Hyde character in many ways – he could be very pleasant and kind to people but he could also be highly aggressive and dominating to other people.
“He obviously crossed people who are much more powerful in the Dublin criminal underworld,” the source added.