Sunday 24 June 2018

Explained: The turf war behind the latest Dublin feud that has left four men dead

John Gibson leaving Blanchardstown District Court. Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Darragh Nugent, a father of three, was gunned down
Dean Johnson
Jason Carroll: shot dead

Cathal McMahon and Ken Foy

A west Dublin feud that has seen two men shot dead in the last two weeks was sparked by a turf war over five years ago.

This latest bloody chapter in the history of Dublin gangland, like many feuds, started rather innocently but quickly escalated.

Senior sources say that feared gangland criminal James 'Nellie' Walsh (31), along with gun victim Darragh Nugent (36) began to muscle in on a drug dealing patch operated by an older established gang.

The criminal gang, with links to the Kinahan cartel, began to get frustrated with the "mouthy upstart" and his sidekick Nugent.

James 'Nellie' Walsh
James 'Nellie' Walsh

A plot was hatched to kill Walsh but this went disastrously wrong when hitmen shot innocent Dean Johnson (21) in August 2013.

Tragic Mr Johnson was totally innocent and it emerged that he had earlier swapped coats with Walsh at a nearby bar and the hitmen mistook him for the crimnal.

Sources revealed this infuriated Walsh, who decided to take revenge on the rival mob.

Within five days, cartel-linked criminal Jason 'Jay' Carroll (39) was shot dead at his home at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin.

The dangerous criminal also attempted to enlist associates in a "Breaking Bad" style murder plot to kill multiple people.

The cartel themselves sought revenge for Carroll's murder and, in turn, plotted to murder Walsh.

Walsh continued to earn money as a gun-for-hire but was caught and subsequently jailed for 10 years for for firearms offences linked to a botched hit on major gangland target Michael Frazer in March 2014.

Despite his jailing his associate Nugent continued to operate and earlier this year he was arrested after a gun and ammunition was discovered in a discarded bag in February of this year. He was released on bail.

It is suspected that Nugent was making threats towards his rivals in recent months.

A source said he "signed his death note" when he was caught with the firearm and last Monday, September 11 a deadly hit squad came for him.

Nugent, a father-of-three, was gunned down outside his home on Wheatfield Avenue in Clondalkin.

The victim was well known to gardaí and detectives believe his killers were lying in wait for him before they pounced at 9.40pm.

Almost exactly one week later his close friend and associate John Gibson (28) was lured to a car park in Saggart. Gibson was shot in the head and at least three times in the body.

Gardaí believe the murders of Nugent and Gibson were carried out by a west Dublin crime group who are intent on "wiping out" Walsh's gang.

The attack has sparked fears in West Dublin and behind bars Walsh is said to be livid at the murder of two close associates. Walsh's associates may also now attempt to strike back and the gang are understood to have the backing of a number of Crumlin criminals.

A close associate of Nugent and veteran criminal John Gilligan now fears for his safety after this latest attack.

The Herald reported today that the criminal, who is aged in his early 20s, went missing on Monday but has since been located and has even taken to social media to post comments in tribute to his murdered pal.

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