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How Corballys bit off more than they could chew by going to war with violent Traveller mobster

AT FIRST sight they look no more than violent, moronic young thugs.

But the Corbally brothers, Paul (35) and Kenny (32) were behind the daring series of ATM heists across the country which netted around €500,000 and stretched gardai.

The success of the digger raids was partly down to teaming up with a Traveller criminal known as 'the Wasp.'

The Wasp has terrorised his own community, is notorious in the Dublin underworld for his violence and uses Traveller camps to distribute heroin.

The dream alliance between the Corballys and the Wasp predictably fell apart after some time. The Corballys were furious when the Traveller criminal went solo on an ATM heist.

They demanded a cut of the raid and predictably again, he said no. Now it was war.

Weeks before they were shot, the Wasp sent armed members of his gang to the brothers' home to threaten them.

Two masked men arrived at the brothers' Drumfinn Avenue home to tell them to lay off on their demands for a cash cut - or else.



DARE

The Traveller mob boss had a longstanding relationship, dating back to the 1990s, with the Ballyfermot gang boss, 'Deero' who is believed to have arranged the Corbally killing.

During that time, Deero was given a caravan at a halting site in west Dublin from which he ran his extensive heroin supply operation.

The main Traveller community was furious that Deero was running his organsiation from one of their caravans but they lived in fear of the Wasp, originally from Co Wicklow.

No one in the community would dare question his wishes for fear of the bloody consequences.

The Wasp then joined forces with Deero's by now sworn enemies the Corballys on a number of ATM thefts in the Midlands and along the southeast coast.

The two gangs netted €500,000 using JCBs and heavy plant machinery to rip the ATMs from the walls of banks and shops.

They were behind raids in Monaghan, Athboy, Mother Hubbard's pub and restaurant, Graiguenamanagh and Enniscorthy, and five more raids in Carlow and Wicklow in 2009.

In all they carried out 20 smash-and-grab operations and a smaller number of violent hotel robberies.



SLOPE

The Corbally-Wasp gang was the target of the garda's Operation 'Slope.'

Last November Slope detectives arrested 13 people in 23 raids in Clondalkin.

Already the Corballys suspected the Wasp double crossed them by going solo in the high-profile theft at Mother Hubbard's, Moyvalley, Co Kildare in June 2009.

Paul and Kenny went after their share. The Wasp said no and a violent feud commenced between the factions -- with threats flying back and forth.

The Corballys escalated the action and attacked one of the Wasp's properties.

A woman and children inside were terrorised and the Wasp's car was stolen.

Now the Traveller boss was apoplectic and swore vengeance.

The Corballys had overstepped the mark and no matter how strong their alliance with the Comerford mob in Manchester, they were now in trouble.

They faced war on two fronts with Deero and now, just as deadly, the Wasp too.

Ratcheting up the tempo, the Wasp did a most strange thing.

He went to the gardai to report his car stolen. It was the first time the notorious mobster ever portrayed himself as a victim.

As it happened, armed detectives had earlier noticed the car in west Dublin.

They caught a fleeting glance of the Corballys inside.

It meant nothing at the time as it was well known in the force that the brothers and the Wasp were partners in crime.

But detectives knew something was wrong when they later learned that the Wasp said his car was stolen.

Was the Wasp just creating confusion or was there a genuine split in the camp?

The police learned soon enough.

Two gunmen approached the Corballys at their Ballyfermot home at the end of April and again threatened them.

Now they knew they were in above their heads.

Within weeks the once apparently untouchable mob brothers lay mortally wounded in the front seats of their high powered Lexus on a busy suburban street.

But who was responsible? Was it the Wasp or Deero? The Wasp remains the chief suspect for ordering this attack and his operations are now under investigation like never before.

So begins a dark new chapter in gangland.

hnews@herald.ie


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