| 11.5°C Dublin

Net closes in on murder suspect in pub stabbing

THE net is closing in on the gangster who murdered a Ballyfermot man outside a pub during the August bank holiday weekend.

Popular electrician Kevin Kenny (30) was stabbed when he intervened in a row outside Ruby Finnegan's pub.

The murder has led to a massive garda investigation, which has included eight arrests, and gardai are now close to solving the shocking crime.

It is understood that detectives have received "good co-operation" from a number of witnesses and the investigation is now at an advanced point.

The chief suspect for the murder is part of a ruthless new gang who have been causing chaos in west Dublin all year.

Sources say that the gang - who number just seven core members all aged in their early 20s -- have been causing "complete mayhem" in the Ballyfermot area for months.

In a disturbing new development, the members have been dealing in the deadly crystal meth drug in the Ballyfermot area and have also been consuming the drug themselves.

The man, aged in his early 20s, is linked to Tallaght drug dealer Stephen O' Halloran (20) who was shot dead as part of a local feud in January, 2009, and his life is now believed to be under active threat.

A close associate of the suspect was arrested by gardai investigating an armed robbery at a post office at Oulart, Co Wexford, in June in which a 66-year-old postmistress was shot in the elbow and her 31-year-old son shot in the leg.

This man was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was arrested in a mobile home in Courtown, Co Wexford. He was later released without charge.

The gang involved in the stabbing of Kevin Kenny are also suspects in an aggravated burglary at a B&B establishment at Kennelsfort Road in Palmerstown in July in which a shotgun was produced by the gang.

On that occasion, they escaped with just €25 from a safe in the property.

The mob are also suspecting of shooting up a house in Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, in March and being involved in the armed robbery of a Londis shop in Ballyfermot in September.

They are also suspected of involvement in a brutal attack -- which can't be disclosed for legal reasons -- where a man was savagely attacked after being lured to a meeting.

The most recent incident that the gangsters are linked to is a savage assault on two young gardai that left the victims needing hospital treatment.

It is believed that the gang members have been spending less time in the Ballyfermot area since that incident.

"They also have links in the Tallaght area and that is where some of them have been based over the past few weeks," said a source.