Northside bloodbath fear after hitman torches home
GardaI fear a violent dispute could erupt in Dublin's northside after a serial hitman targeted another criminal's home in an arson attack.
The 34-year-old gun-for-hire, who is the chief suspect in Kenneth Finn's murder earlier this year, is believed to have carried out the attack over an apparent lost €1m drug shipment.
The man targeted by the hitman, a 37-year-old thug, is also involved in criminality and was previously jailed after being caught with a loaded sub-machine gun.
His Donnycarney home was targeted earlier this month, during which two cars on the driveway were torched.
Detectives believe that the north Dublin hitman was behind the attack, and now have grave concerns the dispute between the two men could escalate.
Armed patrols have been increased in the area, while gardai have also formally warned the man there is a serious threat to his life.
"The local detective unit have been in the area almost around the clock due to the hitman involved," a source told the Herald.
"He is a serious gun-for-hire, who would have no hesitation about following up on his threats.
"What makes it worse, is that the man being threatened has previously armed himself after being targeted in similar situations, so it has the potential to erupt."
The exact motive for the death threats has not yet been established, although one theory being probed by gardai is that the dispute arose from a lost drug shipment thought to be valued at more than €1m.
The under-threat criminal was previously jailed after being caught with a firearm, which he claimed he was using to protect himself.
Gardai gave evidence during the man's' trial that there was a threat to his life, which happened more than a decade ago, but the source said this dispute was separate to the ongoing threat to the same individual.
The hitman suspected of the arson attack is also the chief suspect in the murder of Kenneth Finn, who was shot dead in February.
It is understood that detectives at Coolock Garda Station want to speak to the man about the Finn murder.
Ironically, the suspected killer - who is originally from Donaghmede - was pals with Finn, and both criminals were previously arrested for the fatal shooting of Noel Deans in 2010.
Deans (27) was shot after leaving the Priorswood Inn. It is believed the gun-for-hire shot him dead over a large cannabis debt the victim had built up.
The suspected serial killer was arrested for the murder of Anthony Ayodeji in Darndale in 2008. He was shot as he held a baby boy in his arms.
The gunman is also suspected of a botched murder attempt on slain Traveller criminal John Paul Joyce in the same year.
Among the murders that gardai have questioned him about is that of Tallaght criminal Mark Byrne, who was shot dead outside Mountjoy Prison in 2005.
Sources say he masterminded Byrne's murder just minutes after the victim was let out on temporary release after the pair became involved in a prison row.