herald

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Associate of murdered Little due in court over 'hit bid' foiled by gardai

Gardai at the scene in May
Gardai at the scene in May

A close associate of murdered Sean Little will appear in court this morning on charges linked to a foiled feud hit.

The Dublin man (46) was arrested along with two other men in September moments before a suspected shooting was to be carried out.

The target of that gun attack was a 27-year-old criminal who has been blamed for the killing of Sean Little by the dead man's associates.

Little (22) was shot dead in May as part of an escalating feud between gangs in the Coolock area, which has so far claimed the lives of five people.

Detectives believe a revenge hit for the Little killing was about to take place last September in the Artane area before they intervened.

Firearm

Three men, who are aged in their 20s, 40s and 50s, were arrested following an operation by members of the heavily armed Emergency Response Unit.

A firearm, spare clothes and a can of petrol were recovered, along with two cars being used during the planned hit.

Gardai rearrested a 46-year-old man yesterday as part of the investigation and he is expected to appear in court this morning charged in relation to firearms offences.

The man was a very close associate of Little and is suspected of directing much of the violence in the Coolock feud.

Another man, aged in his 50s, was already before the court in relation to the incident.

Speaking after the garda operation, Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis, head of the garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, said: "The seizure of firearms and the arrest of those who are prepared to use them to take life is a priority for the garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau."

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, of Special Crime Operations, added: "I have no doubt that this operation has prevented a firearm being used to take life and enabled the Garda Siochana to keep people safe."

It was the second time in as many months that detectives had foiled a murder plot linked to the feuding in the area.

In July, two men were arrested and two firearms recovered ahead of a planned hit on a Coolock criminal.

The suspected target of the September incident has previously taken a lie-detector test in an effort to prove that he was not involved in the murder of Little, who was shot dead near Walshestown in north Dublin in May.

His murder ignited a complex feud in the Coolock area involving three different factions, while shootings and explosive incidents in the Ballymun area are also believed to be connected to the dispute.

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