A BRUTAL new feud has erupted in Dublin which led to shots being fired at a criminal outside a busy post office.
Convicted killer Stephen Skeen (33) was lucky to escape with his life after shots were fired at him outside the Claddagh Green post office in Ballyfermot last Friday.
Sources say that tensions are rising in the west Dublin suburb as a notorious crime family in the area are determined to kill Skeen, who was jailed for six years in 2001 for the manslaughter of a love rival.
The feud centres around a dispute over a stolen Uzi submachine gun, say sources.
Skeen, from Cherry Orchard, is a well-known crime figure who was jailed in London in 2001 after he admitted stabbing a man to death after witnessing his girlfriend's infidelity.
He committed the crime when he returned to the home of his girlfriend after a furious row, intending to "kiss and make up", the Old Bailey heard.
As he stood outside the woman's home he heard the bed creaking. He peered through her bedroom window and saw his girlfriend making love to a complete stranger. Skeen went berserk.
He smashed three windows and clambered inside. He found his rival hiding in a wardrobe in his girlfriend's eight-year-old son's bedroom.
Skeen began beating James Taylor (34) with the metal pipe from a vacuum cleaner and then drew a knife and stabbed the half-naked victim eight times. Mr Taylor died when a blow penetrated his heart.
The sentencing at the Old Bailey heard details of a suicide note written by Skeen which said: "I saw her in bed with another man and he was f******* her. When I saw this happening I went mad. I done him. He is not coming back now or ever."
It is understood Skeen returned to Dublin after completing his jail sentence in England and began to associate with criminals in the Ballyfermot area, including the younger brother of a notorious local hitman-for-hire who is the chief suspect for a number of gangland murders in the capital.
But Skeen is now being targeted by three criminal brothers who have a fearsome reputation.
Two of these brothers are suspected of purposely mowing down local man Eddie Lynch (37) in a hit-and-run smash on the Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot in 2009.
Mr Lynch died two days after being hit by a blue Nissan Micra car.
A post mortem examination later found that Mr Lynch died from a ruptured spleen sustained in the crash.
In a separate case, the brothers were also jailed for a savage assault in which they used a hammer and a blade.
Sources say that the brothers formerly had strong links to the drugs gang led by notorious Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll.
Today, a source explained: "Armed garda patrols have been increased in the area -- this is a serious situation.
"Armed checkpoints have also been increased especially during night time hours.
"Mr Skeen will need to watch his back big time -- these fellas mean business."