| 14.9°C Dublin

Gardai prepare to arrest four teen knife killers

DETECTIVES were today organising the arrest of the four teenagers responsible for a frenzied knife murder in Dublin.

David Byrne (19) was knifed to death after being chased down by a four-man gang in Inchicore on Saturday night.

Officers believe the killers were as young as 16-17 years and did not mean to murder their victim.

It's emerged that in January 2010 Mr Byrne was allegedly caught smuggling a mobile phone and a small quantity of cannabis into Mountjoy Prison.

The case came before Dublin District Court on January 7 but was adjourned until yesterday.

Mr Byrne was also due to appear before the court charged with robbing a pizza delivery man and using a knife at Crotty Avenue, Kilmainham, last May.

Tumour

The teen, from Davitt House estate in Drimnagh, was associated with members of the 'Fat' Freddie Thompson side in the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.

His own associates are believed to have murdered him over a €5,000 drug debt.

The part-time DJ was targeted for attempting to leave a gang connected with the gangsters after his mother Ann Byrne was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour.

Mr Byrne was chased by his attackers across the canal and into St Vincent's Street West before attempting to seek refuge in the Emmet Court complex.

At least one of the men caught up with him in the cul-de-sac car park and courtyard and stabbed him several times in the kidneys and back as his accomplices kept lookout.

The gang, which is now the subject of a city wide manhunt, then fled the scene on foot.

An ambulance was called and Mr Byrne was taken to St James's Hospital. Despite desperate attempts to save him, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

It is believed Mr Byrne's killers, who wore hooded tops, initially attacked him shortly after 10pm on the Drimnagh side of the Grand Canal near the Davitt House estate.

The chase and attack are understood to have been caught on CCTV footage but the faces of Mr Byrne's attackers were hidden.

While he had charges against him pending, Mr Byrne was not regarded as a serious criminal.

Mr Byrne was attacked in a similar incident last year and received injuries to his face and chest.