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Drug addict didn't get a cent of promised €40k for brutal gang murder


John Wilson

John Wilson

Keith O' Neill

Keith O' Neill


A junkie hitman who detectives believe was "sub-contracted" to murder gangster John Wilson has not seen a cent of the €40,000 he was promised for the gun murder.

Yesterday, Ballyfermot thug Keith O'Neill (40) was jailed for life after a jury convicted him of shooting John Wilson (35) dead on September 28, 2012 at his home in Cloverhill Road, west Dublin.

And it emerged last night that gardai hope to press charges against one other Ballyfermot criminal in relation to Wilson being gunned down in his hallway in front of his young daughter.

Wilson came from one of the country's most notorious gangland families.

His younger brother Eric (32) is serving a 23-year sentence in Spain for murder. Another brother, Keith (27), is serving a life sentence for a 2010 Finglas gangland murder.

No motive for the shocking murder was disclosed during O' Neill's trial, but senior sources have revealed that a €40,000 contract had been placed on Wilson's head in the months before he was shot dead, and he was warned by detectives of an active threat against his life.

Sources said gardai believe that the €40,000 contract was put up by a dangerous criminal from the Islandbridge area who had been in dispute with Wilson for years.

It is believed that a 35-year-old Ballyfermot criminal who was previously investigated for the double murders of the Corbally brothers in Neils-town almost five years ago agreed to carry out the killing.

However, detectives believe that this gangster, who was previously the victim of a savage assault by rival criminals, sub-contracted the hit to heroin addict O'Neill who has 116 previous convictions.

"It is not known why exactly O'Neill got involved. It is believed he owed a drugs debt but he is certainly no criminal mastermind," a senior source said last night.

"What is for sure is that neither he nor his associates have been paid a single cent for the murder, and this is something that has caused some tensions from time to time since.

"Gardai will now try and bring charges against the criminal who it is suspected sub-contracted O'Neill and also played an active part in the murder."

The two-week trial heard that the daughter of the deceased told gardai: "I just heard 'bang bang bang' - I could see my dad rolling around. I feel a little bit sad and a little happy because my dad is away from the bad boys now."


The Central Criminal Court heard that Wilson had driven to his home with his seven-year-old daughter and a friend when a gunman entered through the open front door and shot him from behind.

Wilson, who had previously been involved in a bitter feud with Alan Ryan's Real IRA faction which led to the infamous Players Lounge shooting in 2010, received two gunshot wounds to the left arm and to the chest, fatally damaging his internal organs.