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Weapon is found as slain Connors' funding revealed

The country's latest gangland murder victim acted as a bank-roller for senior drugs traffickers over the past decade and had been threatening gangsters who owed him cash, the Herald can reveal.

New details about the life and crimes of 'Fat' Andy Connors (45) emerged last night as the garda investigation continues to focus on a 32-year-old Crumlin man who leads the ruthless INLA mob in the capital.

The father of six was murdered in front of his wife Anne and four of his children at his newly-built home in Saggart, west Dublin, on Tuesday night.


It has also emerged that gardai have discovered the semi-automatic pistol that was used in the assassination in a burnt-out white Opel car found by officers in the Blessington Road area.

Sources said the convicted INLA terror figure who is described as "super-fit and super-focused" may have had Connors murdered because the Traveller kingpin was in a major money dispute with a high-profile south Dublin businessman who is strongly connected to dissident Republicans and drug dealers.

Sources say the INLA gangster also wanted to "throw down a marker" to other Traveller criminals who have refused to pay up after extortion demands.

A senior source said: "The INLA have been targeting Connors and his crew all year in terms of attempting to extort money from them.

"At least two homes of Traveller families in Tallaght connected to 'Fat' Andy have been shot up and one of his associates was kidnapped and beaten by the INLA. The dissidents are determined to get the vast amount of wealth that Connors and his gang have from their burglary enterprises and this is what happened when 'Fat' Andy refused to pay up."

It is understood that detectives are investigating whether the INLA mob were given the green light to murder Connors after he became embroiled in a six-figure cash row with the businessman who had been laundering millions of euro and goods that 'Fat' Andy's gang had taken in an organised nationwide burglary spree.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Connors had been lending hundreds of thousands of euro to various major drugs mobs across the country so that they could pay their international suppliers up-front.

Among the gangsters he lent cash to was a notorious criminal now based in England who had a Co Kildare base and was a close pal of former gang boss John Gilligan.


Another criminal who benefited from loans was a socialite gangster who lost all the money he made in the Celtic Tiger boom when the CAB forced him into a major settlement.

Two cars, a black Kia Sportage stolen in Kilkenny and a white Opel Insignia stolen in Carlow, are being examined.

Det Insp John Walsh of Tallaght garda station said: "These cars were stolen a month before the incident and fitted with false plates.

"Somebody may have noticed them parked and if anyone has information about these cars we'd like to hear from them."