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Monday 20 November 2017

Fears dispute over a paltry €500 drug debt could end in murder

Gardai at the scene of the killing of Stephen Lynch at Brookview
Gardai at the scene of the killing of Stephen Lynch at Brookview

Gardai fear a simmering Dublin feud, which began over a drug debt of just €500, will lead to a brutal murder.

Armed officers have been forced to intervene on a number of occasions in the Crumlin dispute between two family factions.

Gardai have seized a number of weapons preventing serious attacks in recent weeks.

In the latest incident attached to the dispute, armed officers seized a lump hammer and two steel poles from a car linked to one of the warring factions in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Weapons

One man was arrested in the bust, which happened at Cashel Avenue in Crumlin at 3.25am.

Sources revealed it was the second time in less than a week that a car being driven by the faction was intercepted in the area by officers after a sledgehammer and baseball bats were seized in an earlier raid.

Both arrests happened as part of Operation Hybrid, which was set up to provide an armed response to organised crime in Dublin when the deadly Kinahan-Hutch feud broke out last year. There is no connection to that feud and the Crumlin dispute.

The group with which the family is feuding are the chief suspects in the murder of innocent father-of-three Stephen Lynch. Mr Lynch was deliberately run over by a car in Tallaght when they were allegedly in the locality to collect drugs debts.

While the Lynch murder is not being investigated as part of the Crumlin feud, the Herald can reveal a young man linked to one of the warring families was also deliberately driven at by a car in Tallaght in recent weeks.

Just days after this attack, criminals linked to him are suspected of being involved in a brutal assault in a southside pub, in which a hammer was used to attack their rivals. Gardai are investigating the pub attack and expect to make charges in the case.

Sources said it is one of over a dozen serious incidents linked to the dispute in recent months.

Miracle

However, firearms have only been used once and this was when a house was "shot up" a number of months ago.

"It is a miracle really that there have not been more serious injuries as a result of this feud. There has been only one firearms incident but that can change as well," a senior source said.

"This has been a tit-for-tat situation, which has seen one shooting, numerous assaults and a number of instances of criminal damage to homes and cars. It is not going away and has the potential to get much worse."

It is understood the bitter dispute broke out over a paltry €500 drugs debt that was owed by associates of one of the groups to the other.

One of the gangs includes two notorious brothers from Crumlin and two other criminals.

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