herald

Thursday 21 November 2019

Feud murder blamed on drug lord 'Mr Big' in secret jail phone call

  • Maguire associates may have been hired to do hit

  • Shooting caught on CCTV cameras at home

Gardai examine a car with a bullet hole in a window in Bettystown
Gardai examine a car with a bullet hole in a window in Bettystown

A suspected hitman linked to murdered Richie Carberry has blamed drug lord 'Mr Big' for the gangland killing in a secretly recorded phone call in prison.

The conversation between the alleged gun-for-hire and his associate was made from a Dublin jail just hours after Carberry was shot dead outside his Meath home.

The 39-year-old father-of-two was gunned down after getting out of his car in Castlemartin Drive, Bettystown, at 11.40pm on Monday.

The killing has been linked to the Drogheda feud but gardai are now actively investigating the involvement of Dublin crime gangs.

In a major twist, detectives are probing the involvement of drug lord 'Mr Big' in the Carberry murder.

Officers are investigating if associates of Owen Maguire were enlisted by the 'Mr Big' drugs mob to carry out the hit in a "marriage of convenience".

Responsible

It came after the suspected hitman from north Dublin, who is aged in his mid-30s, alleged in a recorded jailhouse phone call that the drug lord was responsible for the brutal murder of his close associate Carberry.

"This individual called an associate in which he made it very clear who he holds responsible for the murder, and that is 'Mr Big'," a source said.

"Gardai are aware of this conversation and detectives are now actively investigating this as a line of inquiry."

The locked-up criminal who made the phone call is on remand facing serious charges and cannot be named for legal reasons.

Richie Carberry
Richie Carberry

He is the chief suspect in the botched murder attempt on Owen Maguire (35) in July last year which left the mobster paralysed.

The Maguire faction also blamed Carberry for supplying weapons used in that gun attack.

In revenge, the Maguire mob is suspected of burning out Carberry's new home in the Balrath area of Co Meath in October, last year - an attack which was investigated by Navan gardai.

The jailed criminal who made the phone call is also believed to be the gunman who shot dead Ken Finn (34), a close associate of 'Mr Big', in February 2018.

A possible motive for the Carberry shooting is that he was targeted in revenge for the Finn murder, as he was very close to the suspected gunman.

However, detectives have not ruled out that he was shot dead as part of the Drogheda feud in revenge for the botched attempt on Maguire's life.

A suspected getaway vehicle was found burnt out
A suspected getaway vehicle was found burnt out

Carberry, who was originally from Coolock, was described as directing the drugs mob led by a 24-year-old criminal involved in the dispute.

The Herald revealed yesterday that Carberry was also in dispute with another veteran northside trafficker over a €700,000 drug debt.

Carberry was shot a number of times in the back and arm on Monday night as he attempted to flee from the gunman.

His body was found on a footpath outside his home in Castlemartin Drive.

Carberry had been officially warned by gardai that his life was under grave threat and he survived a murder attempt at his home in Bettystown on the night of March 5.

After that incident, he installed bullet-proof windows at his quiet cul-de-sac property.

The Herald can also reveal that Carberry had up to 14 cameras at the property and the savage murder was caught on these CCTV cameras.

Footage was being examined by garda specialists last night.

Alarms

Sources say that in the meantime an even more detailed CCTV system has been set up at the property and panic alarms have been installed there.

In the aftermath of the shooting, gardai revealed that three cars were struck by bullets during the gun attack.

Superintendent Fergus Dwyer, of Ashbourne Garda Station, told a press conference this was a matter of grave concern for gardai.

"Some of those bullets could have gone through a window of a house here. As you see, this is a residential area, a lot of families, a lot of young children," he said.

Supt Dwyer also confirmed the victim knew his life was in danger.

Since March there has been an increase in garda patrols on the Castlemartin estate and officers were in the area just half an hour before the murder took place.

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