The bungling cross-dressing killer who murdered innocent dad-of-two Keith Walker was seen acting suspiciously beforehand and even asked for directions to the scene of the shooting, the Herald has learned.
Clonsilla and Blanchardstown residents now fear they are in danger of being caught up in the crossfire of a retribution attack after the man gardai believe was the intended target declared war on his enemies.
Mr Walker, who was due to get married in the coming weeks, was gunned down last Friday afternoon after arriving at a pigeon club on Clonsilla's Shelerin Road.
He had been driving a car belonging to criminal Jay O'Connor, who gardai believe was the real target.
Armed gardai will be out in force in the area this week in the wake of threats by O'Connor to take revenge on his enemies.
While Mr Walker knew O'Connor through a shared love of pigeon racing, he had no involvement in crime.
Witnesses to the killing said a man dressed as a woman pulled an automatic weapon on Mr Walker when he got out of the car, shouted O'Connor's name and then fired several times, hitting Mr Walker in the head and chest and wounding another man in the arm.
"This person was seen in the area before the killing. They drew attention to themselves by the way they dressed," a Clonsilla local told the Herald.
"But then the man dressed as a woman started asking directions. Someone called the gardai and reported him because he looked suspicious."
Investigations by detectives indicate that a man dressed as a woman was seen around the pigeon club before the killing.
"This person seems to have been spotted because they were dressed unconventionally, but if there was no indication they were doing anything illegal there might not be an immediate response," said a source.
The cross-dresser is believed to be a man with addiction issues who may have been coerced by a seasoned Dublin criminal who was a close associate of slain crime kingpins Eamon 'The Don' Dunne and Michael 'Micka' Kelly.
This gangster was also a leader of the infamous Westies gang but fell out with O'Connor as the gang fragmented.
"This wasn't a professional job by any means," a source has said. "The killer drew attention to himself by being conspicuous, then he got the wrong man and injured another innocent bystander and they didn't cover their tracks after the shooting," said a source.
Gardai could not confirm if they received a call from the public about the suspect before the killing, but said all information from witnesses will form part of the wider investigation.
Residents in west Dublin now fear that threats made by O'Connor could result in further bloodshed in the area.
"There's going to be f**king war in Blanchardstown, they are dead, stone f**king dead" he told the Sun newspaper.
Members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) will be out in force this week in the wake of Dublin's latest fatal shooting.
Gardai are taking the threat of a revenge attack as a viable one, and armed officers from the SDU will patrol the streets of Blanchardstown to prevent further trouble.
"You always get threats being made, but it is being taken very seriously in this case," a source told the Herald. "You can be sure there will be members of the SDU on the streets of Blanchardstown."