herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Battle for control of pub doors leads to bloody war

A bloody new gang war has broken out in Dublin leading to the murder of a young drug dealer overnight.

Former IRA heavies were blamed for the killing after they also targeted the city's crime godfather, Eamonn Kelly.

The ex-Continuity IRA men had Sean Winters gunned down last night and were blamed for the failed murder attempt on 61-year-old Kelly (pictured right) on Saturday.

Seven men and three women were today being questioned about the 19th gang murder of the year -- 15 of them in the capital.

Detectives believe the latest feud is linked to the pub door security racket.

Officers believe the shootings were sparked by an attempt by one of the gangs to take a slice of the highly lucrative security business – which is closely linked with drug dealing.

“Whoever controls the doors controls the drugs and that’s a lot of money,” said a senior garda today.

Three closely aligned men who were thrown out of the Continuity IRA have emerged as a major force in the drugs market in recent months.

“You get an idea of how rotten they are when they get thrown out of a bunch like the CIRA,” said a source.

The trio, who have links to the Fairview area, were linked with a major IRA arms haul several years ago.

It was their third shooting in a week. They were also linked with another failed murder attempt on a drug dealer linked to Kelly in Ballyfermot last week.

“Winters was their third target and they got him. As far as we know he was a low level dealer but linked to Kelly,” said a source.

Seized

Winters was shot twice in the head in a gangland style killing at Portmarnock Dart Station at 10.20pm yesterday.

Of the 10 in custody, six were arrested at one address and the other four were arrested when officers stopped a suspect car.

A number of homes have been searched and at least one car has been seized as detectives stepped up their investigations overnight.

This latest feud between the former IRA men and Kelly has the potential to become the bloodiest in the capital.

The Republican drug-dealing gang, which is based in Fairview, is believed to have tried to muscle into the pub security business.

Sources believe that the three attacks were launched by the gang to stamp their authority on Dublin's gangland and to upset the status quo which has existed over the past two decades.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of the shooting in Portmarnock but the victim was found dead on arrival.

Winters, who is in his early 40s, is believed to have been aligned with a north Dublin gang heavily involved in drug trafficking, with links to major criminal organisations on the continent.

The gang has split in two in recent years following a number of rows.

One man who lives in The Links apartments, beside where the man was shot, said he heard a scuffle and a row before hearing a bang.

“I'd say there was an argument going on for a good few minutes before the shooting, maybe five minutes between when I first became aware of it and when I saw a car driving away,” the man told the Herald.

Two members of the gang associated with last night’s victim are missing, presumed dead and their bodies have not been found.

David Lindsay (40) and Alan Napper (41), both from Baldoyle in north Dublin, have been missing since July 2008.

The men were abducted in Clane, Co Kildare after they were seen socialising in the town. They had been visiting a pal in the area.

The death brings to 19 the number of people shot dead in Ireland so far this year.

Investigation

An incident room has been set up at Swords Garda Station where Chief Superintendent Gerry Philips and Superintendent Mark Curran are co-ordinating the investigation.

Officers appealed to anybody with information about the shooting or who might have seen people acting suspiciously in the area between 9pm and 11pm to contact them at Swords (phone 01 6664700) or on the confidential line, 1800 666111.

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