A younger brother of one of the country's most infamous gangland killers was one of four north inner city criminals involved in an attack against seven innocent people which left one man with severe brain injuries.
Leroy Howard (28) is a brother of notorious hitman Gary Howard (32), who is serving a life sentence for the brutal gun murders of Brendan Molyneux and Patrick Mooney at a residence in Hanover Street, Dublin, on January 10, 2010.
Gary Howard worked as a hitman for the mob led by slain hitman Eamon 'The Don' Dunne and other criminal organisations.
Sources say his younger brother does not have the same evil criminal pedigree.
However, last night senior sources said the streets of the capital are "safer for sure" with Leroy Howard and his pals locked up.
These include a 27-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, because he is facing charges in relation to a foiled plot by the Kinahan cartel to murder a member of the Hutch family.
"These are violent and dangerous men and in the case of Leroy Howard, there can be no doubt that his older brother was a terrible role model to have in his life," a senior source told the Herald last night.
Howard and the other three men travelled to Ashbourne to socialise at a nightclub in the Co Meath town on July 31, 2016, when they got into a verbal dispute with another group.
As this happened, other innocent people tried to intervene but they, too, got brutally beaten up by the gang.
Weapons were not used in the attack, which lasted for five minutes and was caught on CCTV.
Trim Circuit Court heard this week that seven people in the other groups ended up being savagely assaulted by the gang of north inner city hoods.
Three men were knocked to the ground, stamped on and sustained punches to the head.
One of the victims spent 12 days in hospital following the attack and was kicked and stamped on as he lay unconscious on the ground.
He suffered a severe brain injury and is still in rehabilitation.
"These individuals caused absolute carnage when they travelled to Ashbourne and carried out these sickening early morning assaults on innocent people," the source added.
"It has changed the lives of the victims and prison is the only place for these thugs."
Judge Martina Baxter sentenced Howard to seven-and-a-half years in jail for his role in the assaults and the 27-year-old, who cannot be named because he is facing serious firearms charges, was also given the same jail term.
The 27-year-old, who has more than 130 previous convictions, is currently serving seven years in jail for his involvement in three separate burglaries in the capital.
Leroy Howard, who has around 70 previous convictions, was also taken to Trim Court from prison where he is serving a four-year sentence after he was caught with cannabis and cocaine in December 2017.
Also jailed on Monday was Stephen Coyle (33), of Lower Oriel Street, Dublin 1, who was jailed for five-and-a-half years for his role in the attacks.
A fourth man, a 33-year-old criminal from the north inner city, will be sentenced at a later date.