THE gunman who is suspected of murdering a 47-year-old criminal in Tallaght last summer was one of two gangsters arrested by gardai in dawn raids this morning.
The duo – who are aged 28 and 25 –were being questioned by detectives today at Tallaght Garda Station about the shooting of Karl Wynne last May, at St Dominic's Shopping Centre in the south Dublin suburb.
Wynne, who was shot three times, died from his catastrophic injuries in hospital about six weeks later. The pair were arrested this morning in Finglas.
While today's arrests are the first in the case, detectives from Tallaght previously raided and searched the Finglas homes of the two suspects last July, along with that of another criminal who is currently in custody on unrelated charges.
Gardai believe three men were actively involved in the murder, which was organised by a notorious Finglas-based crime gang.
Sources believe that the gunman who blasted Wynne is the same criminal who shot drug dealer Paul Cullen dead in a Cabra pub last February.
He has "come to the fore" as a ruthless hitman in the gang that was once led by Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.
The suspected motorbike getaway driver for the Wynne murder was a very close associate of murdered Finglas gun-for-hire Daniel Gaynor, who was 25 when he was shot dead in front of his young family in August, 2010.
A senior source said: "These arrests are very significant and gardai have now built up a clear picture as the events of the night of May 30 last. Gardai have always believed that Wynne's murder was linked to his attempt to murder Sean Enright in Cabra a fortnight before he was shot in Tallaght – there was never much doubt that the crew responsible for shooting Wynne are based in the Finglas area."
Wynne, who was nicknamed 'The Lone Ranger', was linked to a spate of armed robberies in the months before he was shot.
He was arrested and questioned for five days about the Enright shooting before being warned by gardai to be "extremely careful" on his release.
Wynne was then shot less than a week later.
Such was the catastrophic nature of his injuries, Wynne was never expected to survive and medics were shocked that he survived as long as he did.
Wynne – who was originally from Finglas but lived in Tallaght at the time of his death – previously served a lengthy jail sentence for an armed bank robbery in Cork and spent over half his life in prison in England and Ireland.
Sources say that he battled a heroin addiction for years and in the months before his murder he had been offering himself as a gun for hire.
However, he "signed his own death warrant" when he botched the hit on Enright and gardai believe that the same gang who ordered Enright's murder may also be responsible for Wynne's murder.