Heroin-user arrested after bid to murder crime boss Christy Keane
A chronic heroin-user was last night being questioned about the attempted murder of crime boss Christy Keane at a university campus on Monday.
Keane (54) a convicted drug-dealer remains in hospital, after he was shot four times while on the way to the University of Limerick gym on Monday.
Three Limerick crime gangs - the feared McCarthy-Dundons, a major Moyross drug-dealing gang and a third grouping comprised of associates of Keane's one-time ally Eddie Ryan - are suspected to have banded together in a deadly alliance against the gangster.
A criminal in his 30s, who is from the northside of Limerick city, was arrested on Monday night in connection with the murder bid.
The arrested man is a close associate of crime brothers Eddie and Kieran 'Rashers' Ryan, who have both received sentences for firearms offences. He can be held for a maximum of seven days.
The suspect has convictions for an arson attack on an associate of Christy Keane along with other criminal offences. He is also a chronic heroin-user who is thought to have access to firearms.
Kieran Keane, a brother of Christy, was murdered in 2003 by five associates of the Ryan brothers when he was lured to a lethal double-cross with his nephew Owen Treacy.
Keane was stabbed and shot after he fell foul of a devious trap where he believed he was paying €60,000 to have the Ryan brothers murdered.
The five-man gang murdered Keane on the roadside at Drombanna, Co Limerick - the same spot where one of two burned-out cars involved in Monday's gun attack was found.
Kieran Ryan (31) is due to be released from prison next month after serving a lengthy sentence for possession of a firearm and ammunition - a development which is set to heighten tensions further amongst the city's feuding gangs.
Gardai also believe that a close associate of the Dundon brothers, who is now defacto leader of the Ballinacurra-Weston gang, may also have knowledge of the attempted murder. This individual is considered extremely dangerous and has firearms convictions.
Another prime suspect believed to have been involved in the preparation of the early-morning gun attack is a Moyross-based drugs-dealer.
He is closely aligned to 'Fat John' McCarthy - a cousin of the Ryan brothers - who is serving a 14-year sentence for drug-dealing.
Gardai in the city were closely monitoring potential flashpoint areas overnight amid fears of a retaliation attack from the Keane gang who are based in the Island Field area of Limerick.
Two handguns, believed to have been used by the gunmen, have also been recovered.
The firearms were discovered in a red Ford Focus hatchback which was found burned-out in Monaleen shortly after the shooting, which took place in a car park adjacent to University of Limerick Sports Arena at 6.45am on Monday.
The handguns are believed to be in a poor condition.
Gardai are fearful that the latest chapter in the violent 15-year-old feud, which began when Christy Keane's chief enforcer, Eddie Ryan, emerged from the shadow of his former crime boss and attempted to murder him, is about to erupt in bloodshed again.
In 2000, Ryan tried to kill Christy outside a northside school in Limerick city. Weeks later, Ryan paid the ultimate price when he was shot dead in the Moose Bar in Limerick city by Kieran Keane and Philip Collopy.
Kieran Keane met his demise less than three years later while Collopy took his own life when he shot himself in the head in 2009.