herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

School feud gang pays €5k drug debt to rivals

One gang involved in a bitter feud that has led to armed gardai patrolling outside a north Dublin primary school has given €5,000 to a rival outfit.

The cash – part of a drugs debt – was paid on Saturday but the other gang is still demanding a further sum of €8,000 as tensions remain high in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

The feud has led to a major increase in armed patrols in the town as well as surrounding areas such as The Naul.

A source said: "Even though this cash has been paid over, this will not be the end of the matter – what has been going on has been nothing short of a disgrace."

Last week, the Herald revealed that terrified children were forced to witness two brutal feud-related attacks on consecutive school days as pupils were being dropped off by their parents before 9am.

The dangerous situation outside the St Peter and Paul Junior National School has led to an overt Garda presence. In one incident, a 34-year-old man and his wife drove to a school in a green Toyota Avensis car with the intention of dropping their two children off.

Five men in a Ford Transit van were waiting for the man and when his car pulled in, they jumped out of the vehicle and tried to grab him.

The man – whose family home was smashed up last month by the opposing crew – jumped back into his car and drove off at high speed.

While doing this his car damaged a number of vehicles parked outside the school.

It is understood the man should not be driving as he has been banned by the courts.

Sources say the van then drove after the car but the driver of the car escaped.

In a revenge attack, associates of this man waited outside the school and used baseball bats to smash in the windows of a Toyota Hiace van, whose occupants are linked to the crew who were in the van on Friday.

Witnesses told The Herald the Hiace mounted the footpath and almost knocked down a number of children. Both incidents were witnessed by dozens of children and parents.

At the centre of the feud is a dispute over drugs with a Traveller crime kingpin who has taken over from slain drug dealer John Paul Joyce, exerting pressure on a criminal from Drogheda who owes him a four-figure drugs debt.

The crime kingpin is a much feared 31-year-old who lives in a large house in north Co Dublin and has a number of previous convictions.

ENTRENCHED

He has linked up with a major crime gang from Swords and has been trying to exert control over the crime scene in north Co Dublin and south Co Louth.

Two extended families have been sucked into the gang dispute with sources pointing out that the feud is becoming more entrenched as time goes on.

kfoy@herald.ie

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