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Teen assassin linked to 'Costa Killer' Wilson

THE teenage suspect for the capital's latest shooting is a close associate of costa killer Eric 'Lucky' Wilson. The 16-year-old is believed to have shot a senior Republican in Ballyfermot before fleeing the scene on his bike.

The teenage boy has close links to the suspected gangland hitman Eric Wilson -- serving 23 years in a Spanish jail for murder and believed to be behind 10 killings here. New details today emerged about the bungling murder attempt on convicted criminal Frank Nolan in Ballyfermot.

The 48-year-old has been released from St James Hospital where he was under 24-hour armed garda protection since the botched daylight assassination attempt on Wednesday.

A senior source explained: "This must have been the gunman's first ever shooting job -- he fired three shots at Nolan with a handgun from point blank range and still didn't manage to kill him.

"In fact two of the shots missed completely.


"He arrived at the shooting scene on a pushbike which he fell off before he started firing at Nolan -- it would be comical if it was not so serious."

The Herald has learned that gardai are working on the theory that the suspected gunman was enlisted to murder Nolan by one of Ireland's most notorious crime figures.

The 16-year-old's mother died in tragic circumstances a number of years ago and he has "been out of control ever since" according to local sources.

He also has close links to jailed gangland killer Eric 'Lucky' Wilson and the shadowy crime lord who is suspected of ordering the hit on Nolan.

This veteran gangster has strong Provo credentials and he is also suspected of ordering a murder at the Players Lounge pub in Fairview in July of last year which resulted in three innocent men being shot.

He has been a major target for the Criminal Assets Bureau for years and has made millions of euro from smuggling illegal cigarettes into Ireland.

Last summer, he entered into a bitter feud with the Real IRA which resulted in two murders as well as The Players Lounge shooting.

Sources say that they are "surprised" that he would use such a young man to carry out a murder but point out that he also used a very inexperienced hitman for the botched Players Lounge shooting.

Last week, a 34-year-old man who was arrested in relation to The Players Lounge shooting was released without charge.

This man is also closely linked to the teenage would-be assassin suspected of bungling Wednesday's murder attempt.

Extra armed garda patrols are in place in the Ballyfermot area this weekend with local detectives being backed up by members of the Special Detective Unit over fears that associates of Nolan will attempt to avenge the murder bid.

Nolan was gunned down on Oranmore Road in Ballyfermot as he walked home from collecting his social welfare.

Nolan -- who was jailed for three years in 2000 by the Special Criminal Court for his role in a 1998 shooting in Ballyfermot -- has been a target for rival dissident Republicans.