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Thug who terrorised mum in shotgun quiz

A feared gangland enforcer -- who threatened to kill an innocent woman and put her in the boot of his car as she collected her son from school -- has been arrested by gardai in a separate threat-to-kill probe.

Thomas 'Nicky' McConnell -- whose older brother Ian (28) was shot dead in a Ballymun gang war in December 2005 -- is due to be sentenced for threatening to kill the woman, as well as possession of over €16,000 worth of the snow blow drug.







Feared

The Herald can also reveal that McConnell has been arrested by detectives from Togher Garda Station in Cork city, who questioned him over a firearms incident in the city last August.

'Nicky' McConnell (28), who has strong links to the gang that was controlled by slain gang boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne, is one of the capital's most feared enforcers.

A source said: "He has links to many crime organisations across the country and is a dangerous individual."

One of the gangs strongly linked to McConnell is led by a thug nicknamed 'Fishy' and this gang is suspected of almost a dozen cash-in-transit and armed robberies in Dublin last year.

Cork gardai arrested McConnell after an incident in the city last year in which uniformed gardai discovered a loaded sawn-off shotgun and a balaclava in a bin truck.

The officers had been responding to reports of suspicious activity near the Cork home of a man who owes tens of thousands of euro to two drugs gangs -- one based in north Dublin and Limerick. It is suspected McConnell and one of his close Ballymun associates had arrived in Cork to retrieve the large drugs debt for the gangs.

After being questioned by Togher gardai, McConnell was released without charge and a file will be prepared for the DPP.

It is sure to mount more pressure on McConnell, who earlier this month pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Louise Sheridan in Ballymun on August 23, 2011.

McConnell, of Dunemer Rise, Lusk, had initially denied the charge and other similar offences but pleaded guilty following a four-day trial last month.

He is also due to be sentenced in March for a second charge of having the head shop drug snow blow. The court heard the drugs were found during a garda search of McConnell's house and had an estimated street value of €16,164.







School

In court, Garda Brian Fahy said Ms Sheridan noticed McConnell's car outside her son's school when she collected the child that day so she took the long route home to avoid him.

When she and her son got to their house McConnell was sitting in a car outside. He asked her where a man she knew was.

When she said she didn't know, McConnell started screaming: "Louise I will f***ing killing you, do you not understand that?"

McConnell then got out of the vehicle and opened the boot showing Ms Sheridan a steel pole and a hammer before he said to her: "I will put you in the boot of the car." Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned both cases to March.

hnews@herald.ie