herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Dangerous drugs gang in frame for failed hit

A DANGEROUS Cabra-based drugs gang are the chief suspects for the attempted murder of a west Dublin drug dealer that left him fighting for his life, the Herald can reveal.

Willie O'Brien (32) was hit in the chest, shoulder and hand when a gunman opened fire on him at Beechfield Rise in Ongar, west Dublin, at around 10am last Tuesday.

O'Brien is expected to survive as a major investigation into the attempted assassination continues at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

It has now emerged that a ruthless mob based in Cabra and the capital's north inner city are being investigated for the shooting, which sources say is "definitely linked to the drugs trade in the city centre".

A main player in the mob is a 30-year-old criminal who was formerly close to the gang which was led by slain crime lord Eamon 'The Don' Dunne, who was shot dead in a Cabra pub in April, 2010.

An older relative of the 30-year-old mobster is suspected of setting up Dunne who was murdered on the orders of the Christy Kinahan's international crime syndicate.

Sources say that the Cabra crew is one of the best-organised in the capital and launder their drugs cash through a number of Dublin motor trade businesses.

"They have great contacts across the entire spectrum of the organised crime scene 
and they have plenty of 
fellas to do their bidding.

"Associates of Willie O'Brien are very active in the city centre and have come into conflict with them for whatever reason and he is very lucky to be still alive after last week's shooting," a source pointed out.

ATTACK

O'Brien has only recently returned to Dublin after spending a number of months in Spain. The chief suspects in the attack are believed to have become aware that he was home and decided to attempt to murder him.

It is believed that a 9mm handgun was used in the shooting and that O'Brien opened the door to the gunman and shut it when he realised his life was in danger.

The gunman fired through the door before fleeing, with O'Brien getting shot in front of his partner and three-year-old son

After the shooting, the gunman escaped in a silver Ford Galaxy car that was later found burned-out in the nearby Phibblestown Woods estate. Investigators believe the gang switched to another car in this quiet cul de sac.

O'Brien, who is originally from Lombard Court in Dublin's south inner city, was freed from jail last October after serving three years for growing 655 cannabis plants worth more than €325,000.

His car was also previously destroyed when it was parked outside a friend's house in East Wall in June 2010.

kfoy@herald.ie

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