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Shotgun man held over new 'tit-for-tat' attack in gang war

A GUNMAN linked to 'Fat' Freddie Thompson has been held after two shootings in the Crumlin area -- one an attempt on a man's life.

The man was arrested with a shotgun on Bangor Road in Crumlin, after firing two shots at houses in the area.

His arrest took place on Wednesday night hours after an attempt was made to shoot another member of the 'Fat' Freddie Thompson gang in broad daylight.

The 27-year-old man was fired at five times as he stood on Kildare Road at lunchtime on Wednesday, but was not hit.

The two attacks followed a third incident last Tuesday night when a house of a Freddie Thompson gang member was shot at in Crumlin.

Gardai believe the three shootings may be linked to a violent pub attack last Sunday night in which Richie Thompson, 'Fat' Freddie's brother, had his leg broken. His wife Catherine was knifed in the arm. But they stress all motives are being investigated.

A source said: "The people involved have connections to the gangs and clearly the fall out from the pub row is being looked at. But they are all dealers in their own right and they may have personal rows of their own, too."



WINDOW

The pub incident, at the Karma Stone bar on Wexford Street, has reignited tensions in the Crumlin feud.

The most serious incident in the fallout was Wednesday's lunchtime attack.

The 27-year-old man was lucky to escape with his life after the gun attack.

A gunman with accomplices fired five shots into his home. The shots from a handgun were directed through a front window but the target escaped injury. Detectives believe the man is primarily a drug dealer, but has links to the Thompson gang. He was suspected of involvement in a drugs and weapons seizure last year.

In another incident in the Crumlin area, shots were fired at an unidentified target on Bangor Rd on Wednesday.

In a follow up search gardai detained at a local man in possession of a loaded shotgun.

He is believed to be linked to the 'junior' wing of the Freddie Thompson gang.

The Herald this week revealed how the fresh violence in the Crumlin feud was jeopardising on-off peace talks in the dispute.

The delicate peace had been renegotiated in recent weeks by clergy with the assistance of older women linked to young men involved in the gangs.

But the negotiations, part of an ongoing process which have kept the seal on the blood- letting for almost two years, are under threat after the pub attack.

Taxi driver Richie Thompson (34) sustained a leg fracture and his wife Catherine Thompson (34) -- who is not involved in crime -- was knifed in the arm in the attack at the Karma Stone Bar on Wexford Street.



SCALES

Gardai fear that the unprovoked attack on Sunday night may have tipped the scales for a return to the campaign which has claimed 16 lives.

In July 2009, Anthony Cannon, linked to the King Ratt gang, was shot dead, apparently because he was regarded as a hit man. His was the last fatality in the feud.

cmallon@herald.ie