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Gangster in hiding after gun attack on father's home

A NOTORIOUS criminal -- who was lucky to escape with his life after being shot last month -- has been forced to go into hiding after his father's home was riddled with bullets.

Gardai say that tensions in a bitter drugs feud in Bray, Co Wicklow, are threatening to spiral out of control after the latest gun attack which happened at the home of Philip 'Philly' O' Toole's father Brendan at the weekend.

At least 14 shots were fired at the house in Ard Chualann in Fassaroe as the dangerous turf war intensifies.

'Philly' O' Toole was lucky to escape with his life when he was targeted in a feud-related shooting in leafy Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, last month.

The gangster was shot in the stomach but escaped with his life when he wrestled the gunman to the ground. He spent a number of days being treated in hospital after the incident.

Gardai have arrested the 29-year-old drug addict who they believe was "paid a pittance" by O' Toole's rivals to shoot the criminal, but he was later released without charge.

Sources have revealed that the bitter feud kicked off when O'Toole's former criminal associates turned on him when he started "sourcing his own drugs from a major Dublin gang".

A source explained: "O' Toole is a marked man and that is why he has fled his home turf.

"All this started when he decided to go out on his own in the drug dealing world -- his former gang members took grave exception to this. These are high stakes -- the drugs market in north Wicklow/south Dublin is very lucrative.

"The shooting incident at a house in the Fassaroe estate last weekend was intended to be yet another warning to Philip O' Toole."

O' Toole was arrested by gardai investigating the shooting of Finglas criminal Glen McGrath (41) outside the Cappagh House pub in Finglas last December.

McGrath -- a former associate of slain gangland boss Paul 'Farmer' Martin -- survived but was left in a critical condition.

The pub shooting is linked to a bitter prison row between gangsters from Finglas and Bray. O'Toole was one of eight people arrested. All were later released without charge.

Sources have revealed that the gang that are targeting O' Toole have close links to convicted killer Richard O' Carroll (40) who has served a 10-year sentence for stabbing a man to death outside a Bray pub.