TWO Eastern European criminals are now suspected of being the killers who murdered the Dublin pals who were 'whacked’ after they travelled to Co Cavan to retrieve a dugs debt.
The suspected hitmen, who have fled their homes, first came to garda attention after detectives became aware that dogs belonging to them were unattended.
It has now emerged that 13 people - including at least four children and four women - have fled Ireland since Eoin O’Connor (32) and Anthony Keegan (33) were murdered on April 22.
Sources say that most of the missing people have fled in fear of gangsters connected to the murdered men rather than the gardai.
The Eastern European men are now believed to be hiding out abroad.
A senior source explained: “This investigation is getting more and more complex as time goes on, but what is now very apparent is that everyone involved in it was there over various drugs debts.
“Gardai need to speak to a number of individuals, including these men.
“There is a major feeling of fear and uncertainty in the community now.”
While the investigation had been focused on the fact that they were in Co Cavan to collect a drugs debt owed to their own gang, gardai now believe that this was a ruse to have the two pals murdered by the arch-criminal who led their mob.
Gardai believe that a male foreign national criminal was enticed to bring the bodies of the murdered men in a boat to the small island on Lough Shelin, Co Cavan where their badly decomposed remains were discovered after a local fisherman noticed a foul smell.
Officers are working on the theory that this dangerous thug, who is involved in drug dealing and pipe bomb making, had a €30,000 debt he owed to the Dublin crimelord “wiped clean” for taking part in the disposal of the bodies of O’Connor and Keegan. In turn, it is believed that the Eastern European criminals who shot the two men also had their debt with the crimelord cleared.
A source explained that the two friends believed they were going to collect a debt for their boss in Co Cavan.
“It had already been decided that they would be murdered before they ever got to Cavan - the leader of their gang decided they had to be made an example of despite how close he was to them,” a source said.
“The leader of their gang decided that they were disposable and that their murders would placate other criminals in Dublin. The two lads were sacrificial lambs.”