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Murdered rapist ignored garda tip-offs

Dublin's latest gangland victim Aidan Byrne was warned repeatedly by gardai there was a price on his head.

Gang hardman and rapist Byrne (33) ignored at least three separate notifications from gardai that his life was under threat.

He had taken to wearing a bullet proof vest after the warnings but, crucially, was not wearing this when he was assassinated in a northside cul de sac last Saturday night.

Byrne was shot 10 times in the chest, stomach and upper body at Drumalee Avenue, off North Circular Road, Dublin 7.

A man was arrested in the aftermath of his shooting and is currently being held.

Father-of-one Byrne had survived an attack on his life at Fairview Park last year when shots were fired at him.

Earlier this month, he was slashed on the side of the face by another inmate in Cloverhill Prison, where he was on remand on charges relating to the theft of a large haul of electrical goods.

Byrne was granted bail in the last two weeks on the theft charges and had been regularly wearing a bullet-proof vest.

But he was not wearing it on Saturday night when he went to the Drumalee estate to meet an unidentified associate.

Byrne's friend agreed to drive him to the meeting and parked the grey Toyota Corolla car at Drumalee Avenue shortly after 8.30pm on Saturday.

It is thought the friend jumped out of the car and walked into a nearby house. The gunman then appeared and ran towards the Corolla, where Byrne was sitting in the front passenger seat. He fired 10 shots from a semi-automatic pistol, and made his escape down a laneway, either into Drumalee Park or Aughrim Street.

Despite the threats to his life, it is understood Byrne had agreed to act as a hired gun on behalf of major gang bosses.

He was aligned with one of the sides involved in the north-inner-city feud, which had already claimed four lives. The dispute began after groups took sides when gang leader Christy Griffin was charged with the rape of a young girl.

This gang connection is thought to be the most likely motive for Saturday's murder, although other possibilities have emerged as well.

Byrne was arrested carrying a firearm along with another suspect outside the Finglas home of a notorious gang boss last year. As a result of this involvement in underworld activities, gardai warned Byrne several times there was a "price" on his head.

comurphy@herald.ie


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