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Gardai revisit killing that kicked off feud

THE Garda cold case unit is reviewing the investigation into the murder of the man responsible for starting the Crumlin gang feud.

The specialised unit is to re-examine the case into the shooting of Derek Lodge (26) on May 22, 2002 at his parents' home on Kilworth Road in Drimnagh.

Lodge's vandalism of a motorbike owned by Declan Gavin started the Crumlin fued, but he was murdered afterwards following a row that was unrelated to the gang dispute.

He was shot dead while working at the front of his parents' home.

A lone gunman entered and fired one or two shots before making his getaway on foot in the direction of Comeragh Road, where it is believed he may have got into a waiting car.

The car, an orange Peugeot 206 or 306, was never discovered by gardai, and neither was the weapon used, believed to be a sawn-off shotgun.

At the inquest into Lodge's murder, State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the inquest that Mr Lodge had been shot twice -- in the left of the chest and the left thigh.

She said: "It had burst open and destroyed the lower half of the heart, as well as entering the lung and liver."

An investigation was carried out but no charges brought.



Assault

Lodge was known to the gardai as a petty criminal, and at one stage he was under investigation for an assault on a garda.

According to sources, Lodge was involved in a dispute with Gavin (20). Gavin later became the first victim of the infamous Crumlin-Drimnagh gang feud.

Gavin retaliated by trying to petrol bomb Lodge's house. This led to a revenge attack by Lodge that saw Gavin's mother's car being burnt with acid.

The men sided with different factions and ignited the row which pitted childhood friends against each other in a feud that has cost 16 lives over a decade.

Gavin sided with the faction run by 'Fat' Freddie Thompson while Lodge became associated with a rival gang boss.

But Lodge, a father of one, distanced himself from organised crime following the attack on his home, and was working as a mechanic at the time of his death.

One of the main suspects in the Lodge murder is a gangland hitman currently serving a life sentence for murder.

Lodge is understood to have had a falling-out with friends of this hitman before his death, leading to his murder.

Declan Gavin was stabbed in a feud-related killing, not connected to the Lodge killing.

The murder of Lodge came a year after Declan Gavin was killed.

hnews@herald.ie


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