Gar­daí fear limbs in bag are those of feud mur­der vic­tim

DNA sam­ples to be cross-checked against mem­bers of miss­ing teenager’s fam­ily

The Irish Times - - Front Page - CONOR LALLY Se­cu­rity and Crime Ed­i­tor

Hu­man limbs found in a black bin liner on a north Dublin hous­ing es­tate are those of a 17-year-boy who has not been seen or heard from since Sun­day, gar­daí fear.

If the par­tial re­mains left out­side houses in Darn­dale are those of the teenager, as is now strongly sus­pected, gar­daí be­lieve he was killed on the or­ders of a se­nior crim­i­nal ac­tive in Dublin, Louth and Meath.

That man, who has a propen­sity for ex­treme vi­o­lence, has been in­volved in feud­ing with a ma­jor drug dealer from north Dublin and also with one of the fac­tions in the Drogheda feud.

Gar­daí be­lieve the miss­ing 17-year-old, from Louth, is closely as­so­ci­ated with one of the feud­ing gangs in Drogheda as well as the Dublin gang run by an armed rob­ber and drug dealer.

Threats

There were threats made against the teenager in re­cent weeks; specif­i­cally that he would be ab­ducted, mur­dered and dis­mem­bered and his body parts de­liv­ered to a per­son he was as­so­ci­ated with.

The teenager was known to gar­daí and had been be­fore the courts on charges of threat­en­ing a par­tic­u­lar fam­ily.

He was also sus­pected of other in­tim­ida­tory crimes linked to the Drogheda feud.

He had been charged with mo­tor­ing of­fences and posses­sion of cannabis.

Searches are due to re­sume this morn­ing for the rest of the dis­mem­bered re­mains.

The limbs were found at about 10pm on Mon­day at the junc­tion of Moatview Gar­dens and Moatview Drive.

Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process

DNA sam­ples from the limbs were due to be cross-checked against mem­bers of the miss­ing teenager’s fam­ily as part of the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process be­ing aided by Foren­sic Sci­ence Ire­land.

Gar­daí were also try­ing to es­tab­lish where the vic­tim was killed and dis­mem­bered. Detectives be­lieve the limbs were brought into the Darn­dale area in a ve­hi­cle and left out­side a row of houses. They were try­ing to de­ter­mine if the spot where the limbs were left was sig­nif­i­cant and, if so, if the vic­tim was as­so­ci­ated with any­one liv­ing nearby.

The fam­ily of the teenager miss­ing from Louth on Mon­day af­ter­noon be­gan ap­peal­ing on so­cial me­dia for in­for­ma­tion on his where­abouts. One post said he had not been seen or heard from since Sun­day, adding those friends he spent most time with had be­gun con­tact­ing the fam­ily in­quir­ing about him.

The dis­cov­ery of arms and legs in a bag on a pave­ment out­side homes on a north Dublin hous­ing es­tate is a shock­ing act even by the stan­dards of Ire­land’s most ruth­less drugs gangs.

Judged as a stand­alone crime this killing is grue­some and cruel.

In the longer term, it is the lat­est junc­ture in Ir­ish crime’s evolution to­wards nar­coter­ror­ism-style vi­o­lence.

More lives than ever are now be­ing claimed in Ir­ish gang feuds.

The mod­ern era of gang­land crime in the Repub­lic can be viewed as the last 20 years and di­vides into three sec­tions: a decade of car­nage fol­lowed by a lull of ap­prox­i­mately five years be­fore the un­der­world erupted again into its most in­tense round of blood­let­ting yet.

The first decade-long pe­riod is book­ended by a ma­jor drugs haul in a Dublin city cen­tre ho­tel in March 2000 and the mur­der of Ea­mon Dunne a decade later in a Dublin pub in April 2010. Dur­ing that decade Ire­land wit­nessed its first pro­tracted gang­land gun feuds.

Dis­pute

The Crum­lin-Drim­nagh feud be­gan in March 2000 in a row over a drug seizure and the un­re­lated Lim­er­ick feud started in Jan­uary 2003. By 2010 al­most 30 peo­ple had been mur­dered in the two dis­putes.

While the sheer scale of those two dis­putes alone broke new ground for Ir­ish or­gan­ised crime, a gang in Fin­glas, Dublin, headed by Marlo Hy­land and later Ea­mon Dunne, also went on a killing ses­sion at the same time; 11 peo­ple were mur­dered in the 3½ years Dunne led the gang.

In­deed, Dunne’s killing ses­sion was so in­tense the Ki­na­han car­tel de­cided to mur­der him to re­store calm to the Ir­ish un­der­world, one of the big­gest mar­kets for its drugs.

Killings

When Dunne was killed a calm of sorts was re­stored. Gun killings linked to or­gan­ised crime still oc­curred in Ire­land but they were fewer in num­ber and they did not lead to pro­tracted feud­ing.

How­ever, a new era was ush­ered in when Dubliner Gary Hutch was shot dead in Spain in 2015. This sec­ond explosion of mod­ern-era gun feud­ing in the Repub­lic con­tin­ues to the present day and is prov­ing even more ex­treme than the decade to 2010.

The Gary Hutch mur­der ef­fec­tively be­gan the Ki­na­han-Hutch feud. It rep­re­sents the first time an in­ter­na­tional car­tel, the Ki­na­hans, has been in­volved in a gun feud in Ire­land. In the three years and four months be­tween the feud’s first killing in Septem­ber 2015 and its most re­cent mur­der in De­cem­ber 2018, there were 18 peo­ple shot dead.

That’s the high­est num­ber of killings in any Ir­ish gun feud to date and the fre­quency of the at­tacks is also un­prece­dented.

In one Ki­na­han-Hutch at­tack a team of gun­men dressed in mock Garda uni­forms and fir­ing IRA-sup­plied AK47s stormed into a ho­tel in a bid to tar­get their ri­vals. An­other new fea­ture of this feud, and one usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with the nar­coter­ror­ism of Latin Amer­ica and Asia, has been the shoot­ing dead of soft tar­gets by the Ki­na­han car­tel to “get at” the Hutch gang.

That in­volves peo­ple in the wider Hutch fam­ily or their as­so­ci­ates, who were not them­selves at odds with the Ki­na­han car­tel, be­ing shot dead sim­ply to dam­age Hutch fac­tion leader Gerry Hutch and put him un­der pres­sure.

Just as the Ki­na­han-Hutch feud en­tered a pe­riod of quiet in De­cem­ber 2018, an­other gun feud erupted in Dublin, in Jan­uary of last year. The fre­quency of the at­tacks and the bar­baric na­ture of some of them have only served as proof that Ir­ish gang­land is now in a new era of its most in­tense gun vi­o­lence yet.

In the 10 months to last Novem­ber five men were mur­dered in the feud be­tween crim­i­nals based mainly in Coolock, Dublin. It is a mur­der rate that, like the Ki­na­han-Hutch dis­pute, out­strips even the Lim­er­ick and Crum­lin-Drim­nagh feuds, which were un­prece­dented at the time.

Wheel­ing baby

The vic­tims in the Coolock feud have mostly been young men – aged 21, 22 and 23 years. One of them was shot in the head while wheel­ing his baby son in a pushchair. An­other was shot dead dur­ing a visit to pay his re­spects to the fam­ily of an­other man shot dead days ear­lier.

And now the lat­est killing ap­pears linked to yet an­other new feud; in Drogheda, Co Louth. If the limbs found in a holdall bag in Darn­dale on Mon­day night are con­firmed as those of a miss­ing 17-year-old, as is sus­pected, gang­land will have plumbed to a new low even by its own, in­creas­ingly ex­treme, stan­dards.

‘‘ Dunne’s killing ses­sion was so in­tense the Ki­na­han car­tel de­cided to mur­der him to re­store calm

PHO­TO­GRAPH: COLLINS

■ Gar­daí at the scene of the dis­cov­ery of hu­man body parts in Darn­dale, Dublin.

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