herald

Monday 27 March 2017

Gangster suspected of 'savage' assault on innocent woman

Jason O’Connor has survived several attempts on his life
Jason O’Connor has survived several attempts on his life

A dangerous criminal involved in a bitter west Dublin feud is suspected of carrying out a savage assault on a young woman because she fell out with a close female associate of his.

Jason 'Jay' O'Connor (38) is believed to have carried out the attack on the innocent victim after she had a minor disagreement with a woman known to him.

The under-threat gangster has survived several attempts on his life and is leading a group of criminals in a bitter dispute with his former associates from the 'Westies' gang.

Gardai are aware of the brutal assault, which happened recently, but a campaign of intimidation against the woman has left her terrified to make an official complaint.

Dangerous

"He gave her a savage hiding and left her with bad injuries. She didn't require hospital treatment and won't make a statement to gardai because she is living in absolute fear," a source claimed.

"O'Connor is a dangerous man and has ensured, with the help of his associates that this poor woman doesn't take the matter any further by making a statement."

The assault is believed to have resulted from a row the victim had with a close female associate of O'Connor. Following the disagreement, the thug called at the woman's Blanchardstown home where he carried out the attack.

Armed detectives are constantly monitoring the activities of O'Connor due to his volatile nature and to keep a lid on the feud.

The latest serious attack linked to the feud occurred in December when Charlie Cooper (38) was shot 12 times in the stomach by a gunman.

The father-of-two is believed to have been targeted because he is friendly with criminals who use taxis to transport guns and drugs across the city.

The gang war centres on the two criminals who were formerly members of the infamous 'Westies' gang who terrorised Dublin well over a decade ago.

Gardai have identified a chief suspect in the case but no arrests have yet been made. Since the shooting in Parslickstown Green on December 3, gardai have been carrying out rolling checkpoints to prevent any further shootings.

Mr Cooper was shot through the kitchen window of his home while his wife and two young children were there.

He managed to get out the front door but was followed by the gunman, who fired a number of further shots.

The attacker then left in what was described by witnesses as a medium-sized black car.

Gardai managed to speak to Mr Cooper following the attack. The injured man does not have any criminal convictions and is not known to gardai for involvement in crime.

In the immediate aftermath of the attempted murder, members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) raided O'Connor's home but found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

O'Connor was also a suspect in the murder of Lithuanian crime boss Gintaras Zelvys in 2013 and was arrested in relation to the hit.

Horrific

O'Connor's bitter enemy survived an assassination attempt last year when a gunman attempted to take him out.

He survived at least two assassination attempts in 2015 and, in the aftermath of one of these incidents, the criminal reacted with a rant to a newspaper reporter.

"I'll tell you a story, there's going to be a f***ing war in Blanchardstown - they are f***ing dead, stone f***ing dead," he said.

O'Connor was previously in the headlines when he had two fingers chopped off with an axe in a horrific attack by Real IRA members.

This is believed to have been carried out under the direction of their slain boss Alan Ryan in May 2012.

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