Westies gang feud link to murder of innocent dad
The man gardai believe was the intended target of a murder which saw an innocent man gunned down in Dublin has now declared revenge on his enemies.
Dad-of-two Keith Walker (36) was murdered in a case of mistaken identity on Sherwin Road in Clonsilla on Friday night.
Gardai believe the hitman was out to kill Dublin criminal Jay O'Connor and shot Walker because he was driving a car belonging to O'Connor.
Last night an enraged O'Connor told a newspaper there's going to be "f***ing war in Blanchardstown".
"They are f***ing dead, stone f***ing dead. Believe me, on my daughter's life," he shouted.
"There's going to be f***ing war in this town. Them two aren't going to see the end of this f***ing week."
The news comes after a notorius Dublin gang boss was arrested by gardai investigating the murder.
The 38-year-old thug, who was once head of the Westies gang, was previously a close associate of slain crime bosses Eamon 'The Don' Dunne and Michael 'Micka' Kelly.
Two more men, aged 32 and 36, are also being questioned after being arrested in Dublin and Meath.
Today the Herald can publish the first photo of innocent dad Keith Walker from Clondalkin.
Tributes to Mr Walker poured in from sports representatives in the Dublin District Schoolboy League where he was a soccer referee.
"He was a very ordinary, decent guy - it feels unreal," a representative told the Herald.
Both O'Connor and the chief suspect in this latest attack are former members of the Westies crime gang who fell out some years ago.
O'Connor is suspected of being linked to an attack that saw the rival mobster shot six times as he sat in a car in Hartstown in 2012.
"This has been a tit-for-tat argument that has resulted from a fall out in the Westies gang. The spat has been continuing for over a decade," a senior source told the Herald last night.
Clondalkin-based O'Connmor previously fell foul of the Real IRA and had one of his fingers chopped off at the direction of RIRA boss Alan Ryan. He was tortured and beaten at Fairview Park in north Dublin.
The well-known criminal has a string of convictions including a rap for a €30,000 supermarket robbery.
O'Connor was also a suspect in the murder of a Lithuanian crimelord in 2013.
Gintaras Zelvys was shot twice with a handgun as he arrived with his wife to open up his cash-for-clothes business in the Greenogue industrial estate, Rathcoole.
It is believed that dad-of-two Mr Walker was gunned down in the vicious attack on Friday because he arrived at a pigeon club in a car linked to O'Connor.
The pair were close friends, though Mr Walker - who was due to marry his fiancee shortly - had no ties to criminal activity and was very active in his local community in Clondalkin.
He was involved in sports clubs in the area and gave up his weekends to referee underage matches for the schoolboy league.
A spokesperson for the Dublin District Schoolboy League expressed their shock and sadness at his death.
"Keith was a really popular guy and was a regular on the circuit for many years. Everyone liked him," he told the Herald.
"It's absolutely appalling and it's a very difficult time for everyone who knew him. We'd like to offer our support and condolences to his family."
Mr Walker acted as referee during a recent cup final. He was also a member of the Irish Soccer Referees Society. It is understood that his fiancee was enjoying her hen party in Benidorm when she heard the news of his death.
The gunman who lay in wait for his target wore women's clothing and a black wig.
An innocent taxi man was also shot in the arm during the mayhem, with witnesses claiming that the shooter was firing "indiscriminately" during the attack.