GARDAI are investigating if a brutal criminal shot himself in the leg and then faked the incident to make it look like a punishment shooting.
The feared dissident Republican enforcer is still recovering from his injuries after the incident shortly before 6pm on Wednesday at Mount Seskin Road in Tallaght, south Dublin.
It is understood he may have taken the extreme course of action to avoid an upcoming court appearance.
The enforcer aged 31 -- who has strong links to the INLA terror group -- was formerly a close associate of feared hood Declan 'Whacker' Duffy and has strong links to gangsters all over the capital.
The theory that the gun wounds -- which were inflicted by a handgun -- were self inflicted is just one line in the investigation as the criminal was also in a cash dispute with some of his former associates.
A source said: "This fella is capable of pretty much anything, including pulling off a stunt like this so gardai are keeping a very open mind on the case.
"He is facing a serious sentence in the courts so maybe he wanted to defer this for a while."
In the past the criminal -- who has worked as a nightclub bouncer -- has been the victim of a pipe bomb attack, a savage assault and was even pepper sprayed in a nightclub incident.
He was also part of a gang who were involved in a kidnapping incident in north Dublin in which a business man was abducted and threatened with being shot unless he handed over a large amount of cash.
The gangster has numerous previous convictions and has been arrested for a variety of serious offences, such as blackmail, extortion, threats to kill, assault and burglary.
He is linked to a number of very serious criminals, including a bodybuilder from north Dublin who is one of the main targets of the garda Organised Crime Unit and a Traveller criminal whose girlfriend was murdered in a brutal gun attack.
He was regularly spotted in the company of terror chief Declan 'Whacker' Duffy before he was extradited to the UK to serve a sentence for murdering a British soldier.
'Whacker' Duffy and his associates were involved in a gangland war against 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's drug dealing mob in 2007 and 2008.