A criminal who is suspected of ordering a gun attack which led to the murder of an innocent man has "gone to ground" and has not been seen since the brutal slaying, it has emerged.
Sources have revealed that both gardai and dangerous underworld enemies of the prolific car thief have been hunting for the suspect, but "no trace" of the individual has been found yet.
The revelation comes as it is expected that the funeral mass of tragic Eddie Nugent (64) is expected to take place on Monday after he was brutally shot dead in a case of mistaken identity last Sunday night.
Mr Nugent was killed at his Walkinstown home when he answered the door at around 9.30pm last Sunday.
The murder is believed to be part of a bitter feud, however, the victim didn't have any involvement in this.
A massive investigation into the murder is continuing this weekend.
Sources say that the on-the-run car thief is a "person of interest" in the case but no one has been able to locate him.
"Even his closest associates have not been able to get in touch with him including his chief partner in car stealing," a source explained.
"But it is not believed that he has been murdered by the rival crew or anything like that.
"Instead, he knows that there is a lot of heat on him over the murder of Mr Nugent and people are annoyed that an innocent man would be shot dead like that."
The Herald previously revealed that Mr Nugent's murder is linked to a bitter ongoing feud in which there were two very violent incidents last week.
In the first of these, knives were produced during the course of a gang punch-up in a flats complex.
This in turn led to one man using a stolen 4x4 to drive at rival gangsters who have connections to the intended target of Sunday night's murder.
In a revenge attack, the suspect, who is alleged to have driven the stolen jeep at the rival faction two days earlier, was attacked by thugs armed with knives as he walked down the street with his young child.
It has emerged that the knife thugs are linked to the intended target of the Eddie Nugent murder.
The on-the-run criminal, who has been feuding with the intended target of the murder, is considered a main player in the 'fishing' burglary gangs. These burglars use fishing rods and other implements to fish car keys through letterboxes and then steal the owners' cars.
The car thief was lucky to escape with his life last year when a would-be assassin's handgun jammed when he tried to shoot him and a younger pal when the duo left a pub and a car pulled up beside them.
In the space of a few seconds, two women got out of the car and then a male hopped out and pointed a handgun at the pals.
He also survived a previous attempt on his life when a gunman attempted to shoot him as he sat in a car.