herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Chief suspect orders a hit on duo who took Melanie's life

THE gang boss whose gunmen shot innocent teenager Melanie McCarthy has now ordered a hit on his two henchmen.

The two young criminals have gone to ground since Melanie was mistakenly gunned down.



The hitmen are in fear of their lives after falling out with their ruthless young gang boss, it’s understood. The 20-year-old fears that the men may testify against him if they are arrested and charged in connection with the teenage girl’s shooting last Tuesday.



The pair, who are both on court bail on other offences, are thought to be hiding out in the city.



A source said: "The pair are in terror as their own associates, including their boss, want to silence them before any arrests are made."



"He blames them for leaving evidence behind them and reckons they could co-operate if caught."

Melanie's funeral is expected to take place in Co Limerick next week.

Last night the father of Melanie's boyfriend called for no retaliation for her killing.

Speaking to the Herald, Christy Moran's father Michael said: "Leave it in the hands of the guards, there should be no reprisals."

Melanie was shot dead as she sat in the back of a car in Brookview Way in Tallaght on Tuesday night -- Christy Moran had been due to marry her in six months' time.

Christy was sitting in the passenger seat of the car and Melanie was sitting directly behind him, with Christy being the intended target.

Asked if he thought the killers should hand themselves in to gardai, Michael Moran said he did not want to make a comment on that, but he stressed that retaliation for the murder was something he did not want.

"The matter should be left with the guards. Let them do their job," he reiterated.

Michael Moran said no definite funeral arrangements had yet been made and that the families were still trying to cope with the atrocity.







Ruthless

His remarks came as detectives continued to hunt for the gunmen -- and closely monitor their associates. Gardai have "good quality" CCTV of the suspects fleeing from their getaway jeep on Tuesday night.

The gang behind the murder, led by a 20-year-old, came out of nowhere last year and are now major underworld criminals. They are strongly associated with a ruthless west Dublin gang who have been dealing crystal meth and carrying out armed robberies.

Crystal meth is a hugely addictive drug, which reaps big profits for the gangs.

Several members of the gang are facing trial on other matters, but some are still on the streets and are linked to murdered Tallaght drug dealer Stephen O'Halloran (20), who was shot dead in January 2009.

The home of the chief suspect's brother was raided by armed gardai in Ballyfermot on Wednesday evening -- but officers say he was not directly involved in the murder.

Melanie's two killers are also linked to a mob based in Tallaght, Ballyfermot and Crumlin.

The 20-year-old senior figure in the gang, from Tallaght, was not part of the hit-team who shot Melanie. But he has been a key figure in the escalation of the feud with settled Travellers which has developed over the past five months.

hnews@herald.ie

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