A Kinahan cartel hitman and enforcer is "actively recruiting" vulnerable teenagers to carry out attacks on behalf of the ruthless crime gang.
The Herald can reveal that the thug - the chief suspect in the attempted murder of James 'Mago' Gately - is offering the young men from his south inner city flats complex cash in exchange for stashing and dealing drugs.
The 27-year-old is also recruiting teenagers from the block to carry out punishment beatings, make threats and intimidate rival criminals as well as drug users.
Sources say that the hitman's sick recruitment drive has left residents and gardai seriously concerned and there are fears that it will strengthen his hold on the area.
"Gardai are itching to arrest this criminal," said one source.
"He is a suspect in at least five gun attacks and now is strengthening his foothold in the south inner city.
"He has risen to the top of the pile very quickly because he is so ruthless.
"He will do anything for cash, and he usually gets the job done. But the net is closing in on him."
Gardai based in Pearse Street have been closely monitoring the activities of the hitman since he moved into the apartment complex with his partner earlier this year.
The Herald previously revealed how he paid €5,000 to have reinforced doors installed in his social housing flat. He is the chief suspect in the murder of Robert Sheridan last month as well as four other gun attacks.
Gardai also suspect the violent criminal was behind a spate of non-fatal shooting incidents in the Ballymun area over the summer.
Among the victims was an innocent young woman who was shot in the kneecap in July.
The gangster was previously arrested in August of last year for the botched murder attempt on Hutch gang associate Gately three months earlier.
Last year we revealed that he was questioned for two days at Santry Garda Station about the bungled hit on Gately and was then taken to court because of outstanding bench warrants against him.
After a brief appearance at Dublin District Court he was remanded in custody.
Jail bosses placed him on the so-called "Kinahan landing" in Mountjoy Prison, where many senior cartel figures are housed.
Gately (30) was shot in the neck while sitting in a car at the Topaz Garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, on the afternoon of May 10 last year.
He spent a number of days being treated in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital in the aftermath of the shooting.
The fears of another attack were so high that members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) patrolled the Beaumont area until Gately was discharged.
The south inner city thug is considered a "main and active participant" in Ireland's newest gangland feud.
He took the side opposed to Louth mobster Owen Maguire, who was shot multiple times last July in Drogheda leaving him paralysed.
In March the Herald revealed that children were being terrorised in a sinister campaign of gangland violence which is being orchestrated by the hitman.
Among the violence he masterminded from behind bars were attacks on a house occupied by a completely innocent family.
The hitman has been based in the south inner city since being released from jail.
He is suspected of involvement in two shootings that happened less than 50 minutes apart in August.
In the first incident, a 34-year-old man was shot in the leg at Shangan Green.
The victim was rushed to the Mater Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, which were non-life threatening.
Before the victim had even arrived at the hospital, a number of shots were fired at a house at Belclare View, just two kilometres away from the location where he was initially targeted.
No injuries were caused in that incident, which resulted only in damage to windows.
The feared criminal also has very close links to the Kinahan-aligned Finglas-based drugs gang in which the dealer known as 'Mr Flashy' plays a key role.
This gang was involved in a bitter local feud in Finglas which saw numerous violent incidents over the past year but which has "eased off" in recent months.