herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

Volatile criminal linked to dissidents is focus of double murder probe

The house at Balbutcher Drive
The house at Balbutcher Drive

Gardai are investigating if a volatile north Dublin criminal with ties to dissident republicans was involved in a botched gangland shooting that led to the murder of two innocent people.

The shootings, in Ballymun in August, left mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally (48) and innocent locksmith Clinton Shannon (30) dead.

The intended target, convicted criminal Derek 'Bottler' Devoy (37), escaped unharmed after dropping a child he was holding and fleeing through the back garden of the property.

It has emerged that garda inquiries are focusing on a known criminal from north Dublin who recently survived an attempt on his life.

Injuries

The thug has links to a dissident republican faction and is a close associate of a notorious New INLA member. He miraculously survived the attempt on his life and was left with only temporary injuries.

One theory is that the Ballymun shooting was carried out in a revenge attack on the dissident criminal.

A source last night told the Herald the major criminal was being investigated for his role in organising the shooting that led to the double murder.

"This individual is in no shape to have been there on the day to carry out the hit but is being probed for orchestrating the shooting. It is one of several theories, but there is added weight as his associates have been involved in a local dispute with 'Bottler' Devoy in recent years," the source said.

Two firearms - a 9mm machine gun and a semi-automatic handgun - have been recovered.

A full murder investigation is being led from Ballymun Garda Station, where more than 300 lines of inquiry were started in the first two days. As part of the large-scale probe, gardai arrested a convicted drug dealer from the north of the city, who they suspected of providing logistical support in the killings.

Gardai believe the suspect, in his early 30s, provided the cars used in the double murder. Sources said the man, who is well known to gardai in north Dublin, has a number of convictions for being in possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply.

Notorious

"He would be a serious criminal in the local area," a source said.

The Herald previously revealed two notorious criminals from the north inner city were believed to have carried out the atrocity.

Among the two being blamed by Devoy's gang is the chief suspect in the 2014 slaying of Bottler's brother, Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy (41), murdered shortly after his release from Portlaoise Prison.

The military-trained hitman, aged in his mid-20s, is also a suspect in the Hutch/Kinahan feud murder of Michael Keogh.

"This 'gun for hire' is a heavy-hitter in terms of organised crime. He has close links to a number of gangs, including both sides of the feud," a senior source told the Herald.

"He is involved in extortion and debt collection and is associated with Provos in the north inner city."

The other suspected hitman has been closely monitored. Gardai believe he could be ordered to murder a rival Kinahan cartel member.

In his 40s, he has been out of prison since 2013. He served a lengthy sentence after being caught in a major operation by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

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