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Savage killer gets life for slaying hitman in front of his children

A savage gangland murder that led to a bungling killer being jailed for life last night was part of a feud between a Dublin gang and the Real IRA. A jury took just over two hours to find Ballyfermot man Keith Wilson (23) guilty of the murder of hitman-for-hire Daniel Gaynor (24), who was executed in front of his family in broad daylight at Finglas in August of last year.

Wilson is a brother of Ireland's most prolific gangland serial killer, Eric 'Lucky' Wilson (27), who is serving life in Spain for murder and is linked to up to 10 gangland murders here.

During Keith Wilson's two-week trial for the murder of Gaynor, no motive was given, but today the Herald can reveal that Wilson was paid to shoot Gaynor by a shadowy veteran crime boss from Ballyfermot.

In the summer of 2010, this crime boss -- who has made millions from smuggling cigarettes into Ireland -- was engaged in a bitter feud with the Real IRA led by two north Dublin brothers.

The feud led to a shooting at The Players Lounge pub in Fairview, north Dublin -- where three innocent men were seriously injured -- and several other violent incidents.

But tensions spiralled out of control when the IRA gang ordered the murder of Colm 'Collie' Owens (34) as he worked in an animal feed store in Finglas, north Dublin.

Gardai believe he was targeted because he was friendly with some members of the Ballyfermot mob, which includes the Wilson brothers and major criminal Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond as well as other serious criminals.


The chief suspect for shooting Owens was notorious hitman Daniel Gaynor. Infuriated by the execution of Owens, the Ballyfermot mob decided Gaynor had to be targeted, and on August 14, 2010, the hitman was shot in the neck while walking on St Helena's Road with his girlfriend and two children on their way to their aunt's house.

Keith Wilson was enlisted to carry out the murder -- but showed his inexperience by leaving crucial evidence at the scene.

After fatally shooting Gaynor, Wilson left gloves, a cap, a hoody top and a gun near the scene. These items were recovered by gardai and played a crucial role in the case against the gangster.

After the murder, Keith Wilson fled to Spain.

But in November of last year gardai received specific intelligence that he was returning home to Dublin and he was arrested at Dublin Airport in an operation involving dozens of armed detectives.