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Best friends who fell out over gangster King Ratt after split

THESE are the two best friends who fell out over King Ratt.

Gangster Brian Rattigan's sister Sharon is now at loggerheads with his ex girlfriend, Natasha McEnroe, following the couple's breakup.

Two male associates of Rattigan recently tried to kill McEnroe's new boyfriend at her Ranelagh home and the couple have been warned they are in serious danger.

The Herald can today reveal the background to a rift between the two women closest to Rattigan, which developed as he languished in a jail cell.

Natasha McEnroe was thrown out of Sharon Rattigan's family home in Drimnagh after she split with the gangster last November. The split came about after a third woman, who also lives in Drimnagh, contacted King Ratt weeks earlier and alleged that McEnroe was seeing someone else.

McEnroe fell out with her oldest pal Sharon Rattigan over the claim, and quickly moved out of the Drimnagh house.

A source said: "Sharon and Natasha were the best of friends for years, and Natasha even moved into the Rattigan family home with her daughter. But rumours started to fly around and then Natasha dumped Brian.

Sharon has stood by her brother and Natasha has moved out. Since the break-up they don't see each other."

McEnroe (27) and her new boyfriend are currently under garda protection, after a failed assassination attempt on her new beau in early January.

The row, which resulted in the botched hit, began months earlier after a falling out between Natasha McEnroe and Sharon Rattigan (28).

The childhood friends grew up on the same street and have rarely been apart throughout their lives. They even shared a court conviction for violent disorder as teenagers after attacking a taxi driver outside a pub on James' Street.

Until last October McEnroe had been living with the Rattigans at Cooley Road in Drimnagh along with the eight-year-old daughter she had with King Ratt.

Gardai understand that a female neighbour contacted King Ratt behind bars claiming that Natasha had been having an affair. The furious gangster told his family to confront McEnroe about the accusations, but McEnroe turned on the neighbour claiming she was lying, it is understood.

Sharon Rattigan believed the neighbour and McEnroe afterwards left Cooley Road with her daughter and went to live in a house formerly occupied by her grandfather in Ranelagh.

In the aftermath of the bitter dispute between the women who were once best friends, McEnroe visited King Ratt in the Midland's prison in Portlaoise to tell them their relationship was over.

McEnroe began a relationship with her new boyfriend shortly after the split. The man is not involved in crime.

Within days of the McEnroe's November visit, gardai received intelligence that King Ratt's associates were planning to target his ex-girlfriend's new lover.

cobyrne@herald.ie