Paul Williams: 'Another day, another gangland shooting as drugs take toll on our communities'
Another fusillade of bullets flies in a brazen daylight shooting that is linked to a gang feud and another man is left lying dead in a pool of his own blood.
Just another day and one more victim is added to Ireland's underworld death toll.
Yet again, reckless thugs on a mission to kill demonstrated their scant regard for innocent bystanders - and little fear of running into gardaí.
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The scene of the latest gangland carnage was a holiday caravan park in the seaside village of Clogherhead, Co Louth.
Around 2.45pm, a car pulled up and several shots were fired at a mobile home - next door to a convenience store where people were coming and going. Early reports suggested a stray bullet struck the car of an innocent woman, further underlining the shooter's complete disregard for innocent people getting caught in the crossfire.
But the gunmen won't be overly concerned about any of that and instead they and the rest of their mob will consider this to have been a good day's work.
They took out a man in his early 30s who is believed to have been a close associate of one of the main players in the bitter feud between two Drogheda-based drug gangs. After a year of simmering violence, that feud has now claimed its first life.
This murder marks a significant escalation in the feud and will inevitably lead to further bloodshed among these social degenerates as they seek an eye for an eye.
It has all become so depressingly normalised that all that changes with each gangland murder is the location, the gangs involved and the names of the dead.
What had been a festering row over money and territory between two groups in Drogheda escalated with the shooting of a man last July.
Since then it has grown in intensity, with over 70 feud-related incidents investigated by gardaí including beatings, stabbings, arson attacks and the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Gardaí in the town have received extra resources with 25 additional uniformed officers and the permanent deployment of an armed response unit, while local detectives and specialist national units are involved in an effort to dismantle the two feuding gangs.
Ten years ago it would have been unimaginable that a gangland feud would erupt in a town like Drogheda which had no real problems with crime in the past.
The new reality of modern Ireland is that the drug trade is worth so much money that there are gangs and organised dealers operating in every town in the country.