Gardai believe Daly was shot on the orders of slain gang boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne after he tried to "muscle back into" his drugs patch after being released from Portlaoise Prison just two months before he was shot dead.
Just months before his death, Daly had prompted a public outcry and subsequent clampdown on contraband in prisons when he rang Liveline from his cell in Portlaoise to confront journalist Paul Williams. He was nearing the end of a nine-year prison sentence at the time.
The Herald has now learned Daly left himself a 'sitting duck' on the night of his murder after he unsuccessfully tried to get late takeaway alcohol at a local pub before finally getting three slabs of Budweiser at a nearby house just minutes before he was shot dead.
A source explained: "Gardai are satisfied that the taxi was not followed from town by his killers but when they got to Finglas, Daly continued to try and get drink.
"The fact that the taxi was driving around the area certainly gave the killers the chance to act and pounce on him."
Dublin Coroner's Court heard yesterday that Daly had been warned by gardai that his life was in danger just one week before the attack.
The court heard that taxi driver Francis O'Neill was lucky to escape alive. He became trapped under the dead man when he slumped over as he was being shot.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by a person or persons unknown.