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FAMILY TIES: Two killers and one suspected hitman make up feared Ballyfermot siblings

Gangland killer Keith Wilson and his two brothers Eric and John are well known figures in Ireland's gangland scene.

The three grew up on Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, where they are said to have been doted on by their mother Kathleen who attended every day of Keith's murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

All the brothers were only teenagers when they first came to the attention of gardai and Keith's older brother Eric 'Lucky' Wilson is considered one of Ireland's most prolific gang killers.

Eric who is serving a life sentence in Spain for murder is suspected of working for a number of Ireland's most dangerous, including the northside crews that were led by slain crime lords Martin 'Marlo' Hyland and Eamon 'The Don' Dunne as well as notorious hood Paul 'Burger' Walsh's drugs operation.

Wilson has also worked for the godfather of Irish crime Christy Kinahan and 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's mob.

However he has always been closest to the current 'Mr Big' of Irish crime -- a shadowy major league criminal who is in his 50's and has made millions of euro by importing illegal cigarettes into Ireland.

Eric is serving a 23-year- sentence in Spain for blasting British criminal Daniel Smith (24) to death in a packed Spanish bar in an incident where the victim was shot a number of time in the testicles.

At the time of the Smith murder, Eric had been on the run from gardai since 2006 and gardai want to charge him in relation to a major firearms seizure in Co Carlow that year and also a serious assault in Co Laois in 2004.

Before he was convicted of murder yesterday, Eric's younger brother Keith did not have the same fearsome reputation as 'Lucky' but he was well known to gardai.

In the years before he shot Daniel Gaynor, Keith had built up nine previous convictions, mostly for driving offences but also for damaging property and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Keith is also suspected of working with his brother Eric in the murder of gang figure Anthony Cannon in Ballyfermot in July, 2008.

Like Eric, Keith spent a lot of time in Spain and gardai considered him a very serious criminal.



funeral

After being charged with the murder of Daniel Gaynor, gardai objected to bail on a number of occasions and were always successful.

At one court hearing last January, Keith was refused compassionate bail to attend his grandfather's funeral after Detective Inspector Martin Cummins said: "No amount of money would ease my mind as to the concerns and risks of this man getting bail."

With Keith now being convicted of murder, detectives are concerned that he will continue to be involved in gangland activity from behind bars. With his two younger brothers locked up, sources believe that their older brother John may be in a vulnerable position. John was also present for every day of his brother's trial.

John (34) was arrested by gardai in August in relation to the triple shooting at the Players Lounge pub in Fairview which left three innocent men with serious injuries. He was released without charge.

John has already survived three attempts on his life. In April of this year, he was the victim of a late night gun attack in his native Ballyfermot which left him with injuries to his knee.

And in September of last year, John Wilson had a miraculous escape when two armed gunmen arrived at his house.

It is understood that the assassin team -- which sources believe were working for the Real IRA -- intended to shoot him as he brought his children to school.

But instead, the gunmen decided to murder him in his house and they called to the door but they got freaked out when his wife answered the door and they fled the scene in a car that was later traced to the Tallaght area.

Sixteen months before he was involved in that incident, John had another lucky escape when in March, 2009, he noticed a pipe bomb under his car which was parked outside his Ballyfermot address.

The army bomb disposal team were called and made the "viable device" safe.

John Wilson's most serious brush with the law was when he was jailed for possession of a sawn-off shotgun and am-munition almost a decade ago.

k.foy@herald.ie


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