A DUBLIN criminal was lucky to escape with his life after his car was sprayed with bullets.
Gardai are investigating if the botched hit on Daniel Kavanagh is linked to a decade-long feud.
The 27-year-old criminal, his older brother David and a third man were lucky to escape when a gunman approached their car and fired a number of shots.
Kavanagh – recently released from jail for serious firearms offences – suffered minor injuries in the attack at Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot, at 12.30am yesterday.
He refused to co-operate with gardai who rushed to the scene.
"Daniel Kavanagh is heavily involved in a family feud in Ballyfermot that is getting worse all the time," a senior source said.
Gardai are now investigating if the attempted assassination is linked to another shooting in the same area over the weekend and a hoax pipe bomb incident the previous weekend at nearby Cherry Orchard Avenue.
A senior source explained: "In different circumstances, what happened yesterday morning could have resulted in at least one murder.
"Gardai have established that a shotgun was used in the incident and the gunman approached the car on foot after jumping from bushes. There has been no co-operation from him and he has been effectively at war with another family for the best part of a decade now.
"Kavanagh was only released from prison in March and has been causing bother ever since."
In February 2009, Daniel Kavanagh was jailed for seven years for firing a sawn-off shotgun through the sitting room window of a Ballyfermot house.
Kavanagh, whose dad is serving a life sentence for murder, claimed he attacked the house in retaliation for an assault on his sister.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to recklessly discharging a firearm and producing a sawn-off shot gun while resisting arrest at Cherry Orchard Parade on November 10, 2007. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition on the same occasion. His older brother David was later jailed for seven years for his role in the incident and a cash-in-transit robbery.
An unmarked garda patrol pulled up to the two men who lifted the firearms and aimed them at the car. The gardai identified themselves but the men continued to aim the guns and shouted "get the f*** away".
Dublin Circuit Court heard that gardai feared they would be shot and reversed the car until the men lowered the weapons and ran away.
Gardai followed the pair until they again raised their weapons at the patrol car before fleeing.
Officers recovered two weapons nearby and Kavanagh was nominated as a suspect.
Gardai arrested him a short time later and he told them there had been an ongoing feud between his family and another in the area.
Kavanagh told gardai that the previous week a railway sleeper had been pushed through the window of a room where his sister was sleeping and that she had been attacked.
He said he had got the guns for protection a week earlier and hidden them. He said that after a night drinking he and his brother David decided "on the spur of the moment" to attack the house.