Feud fears grow in D22 after series of violent attacks
There are fears of a vicious gangland feud re-igniting in a west Dublin suburb following a series of shootings, fire bomb attacks and sinister threats in recent weeks.
The tension between two Clondalkin-based gangs has remained relatively dormant over the last few years, following almost a decade of violence that ravaged the D22 area.
However, a number of online threats and petty disagreements have led to a spate of shootings in the area, as well as houses being targeted with fire bombs.
In a bizarre incident earlier this month, a family living in Bawnogue woke up to discover bullet holes in a front window of their house.
Gardai were alerted and ballistic tests were carried out on the bullet casings found at the scene.
The Herald can reveal that a man in his early 20s was targeted in an attempted shooting as he walked across a field in the Melrose estate.
A gunman approached and let off a number of shots. However, the assailant missed his target and the bullets instead ripped through the window of the innocent family's home while children slept inside.
The intended target is believed to have escaped the incident unharmed.
One source described how the gangs feuding with one another had been friends for years, but a number of disagreements over minor drug debts have divided the group.
Another shocking incident occurred on Saturday, November 14 in a random attack in which a machine gun was used to fire at a small group.
A number of men left a pub in the Bawnogue area late on Saturday night, when a hooded man began to shout profanities at the group from a distance.
The assailant then produced a machine gun and attempted to load the weapon, but dropped the clip on to the ground.
The men fled the area as the gunman reloaded his weapon and, without knowing who he was targeting subsequently let off number of shots from his automatic weapon. However, nobody was injured during the incident.
Sources said that the increase of serious shootings is a concern, and fear that the feud could potentially escalate to the levels it reached a number of years ago.
"To see such a spurt of attacks and incidents in such a short space of time is worrying.
"Although a feud never truly ends, it has been dormant for a while. But gardai are prepared should the situation escalate," they said.
One man, who sources say is heavily involved in the violence, is a notorious criminal in his early 20s originally from the Ballyfermot area.
The criminal is said to have "a number of hits on his head", and previously survived a botched assassination attempt.
"He's been stepping on several toes in the area. He has no regard for anyone, and poses a serious danger. Gardai are doing their best to keep a lid on tensions in the area but the situation is getting increasingly worse," a source said.