herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Car theft thug is linked to innocent dad's killing

Inset, Mr Nugent and the scene outside his home
Inset, Mr Nugent and the scene outside his home
Flowers left at the scene of the fatal shooting of Edward Nugent, 64,
Garda at the scene at Harty Avenue in Walkinstown Dublin were a 64-year-old victim was shot dead at his home a murder investigation is under way. Pic Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

A criminal who survived assassination attempts in recent months is being investigated for the botched gun attack that led to the murder of innocent man Eddie Nugent.

A massive garda investigation into Sunday's savage killing is continuing as new details have emerged about the bitter feud in which the intended target was involved.

Sources have revealed that a young man, who was known to Mr Nugent, became a prime target for the Crumlin-based gang after two violent incidents last week in Dublin's south inner city.

In the first of these, knives were produced during the course of a gang punch-up in a flats complex which led to one man using a stolen 4x4 to drive at rival gangsters who have connections to the intended target of Sunday night's murder.

Then, in a revenge attack on Thursday, the suspect - who is alleged to have driven the stolen jeep at the rival faction two days earlier - was attacked by thugs armed with knives as he walked down the street with his young child.

Read More: Face of dad shot at home as gang feud link probe

It is understood that the incident was the final straw and a plan was put in place to carry out the murder of a close associate of the mob involved in that attack.

However, tragic Mr Nugent (64), who had been in extremely poor health in recent months, was shot dead instead in a case of mistaken identity at his home at Harty Avenue, Walkinstown, at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

The criminal who has been feuding with the intended target of the murder is considered to be a main player in the "fishing" burglary gangs, who have been using fishing rods and other implements to fish car keys through letterboxes and then steal cars.

He was lucky to escape with his life last year when a would-be assassin's handgun jammed when he tried to shoot him and a younger pal he was walking with.

The pair had just left a pub when a car pulled up beside them.

In the space of a few seconds, two women got out of the car and then a male hopped out and pointed a handgun at the pals.

However, the gun jammed and the two men tried to escape by jumping over a gate as the car sped off.

The criminal also survived a previous attempt on his life when a gunman tried to shoot him as he sat in a car.

Sources say that gardai are investigating whether these attempted murders as well as a brutal nightclub attack on a female associate of the crim- inal are all linked to the dan- gerous escalating feud that claimed Mr Nugent's life at the weekend.

Armed garda patrols have been increased in the Crumlin and south inner city areas as fears of revenge attacks increase from associates of the intended target. Yesterday, the Herald revealed that the target is associated with the dangerous young gang linked to south inner city criminal Aaron Rattigan (25), who is now understood to be back in Dublin after fleeing the capital in 2013.

Rattigan is the first cousin of jailed heroin kingpin and convicted murderer Brian 'King Ratt' Rattigan and has been heavily involved in crime for years.

Also linked to the intended target of Sunday night's murder is veteran criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley and a young relative of slain gang boss Martin 'The General' Cahill.

kfoy@herald.ie

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