NewsCrime Desk

Cops warned Douglas his life was in danger from cartel psycho

David Douglas
David Douglas

TWO violent young guns in their 20s who are acting as the Kinahan Cartel’s main ‘muscle’ are the chief suspects for the latest gangland murder in Dublin.

David Douglas (53), was gunned down in front of family members at the entrance to his wife’s shop on Bridgefoot Street in Dublin’s south inner city at 4.10pm on Friday.

The Sunday World can reveal convicted drug dealer Douglas believed he had resolved his differences with the Kinahan gang after being shot last year – even though had been formally warned his life was under danger last month by gardai.

The two men suspected of carrying out the hit both come from different sides of the city and have been responsible for a wave of feud related violence both inside and outside the prison system.

They are regarded as being the Spanish-based mob’s most reliable ‘foot-soldiers’ and answer directly to a close associate of Regency shooting victim David Byrne.

One of the duo, from Cabra, has been a suspect in several gun murders, including the killing of innocent mother-of-two Baiba Saulite, who was gunned down in Swords, Co. Dublin, in 2006. 

He was also arrested in connection with the murder of Eddie Hutch, who was shot dead three days after the Regency Hotel shooting in February.

Shockingly, he is said to have been friendly with both Douglas and his family and is motivated solely by cash.

The second criminal has just recently been released from prison and is a suspect in a violent attack on a member of the Hutch clan.  

He has close ties to ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and has been involved in serious violence in Dublin since his teenage years.

Douglas is believed to be the ninth victim of the brutal gangland feud.

He was previously targeted in a gun attack carried out by associates of the Kinahan Cartel in November and the main line of inquiry is that the cartel is behind this incident.

Gardaí met with Douglas and gave him a GIM (Garda Information Message) form warning him they had received new information that his life was in immediate danger last month.

Gardaí are confident that the first attack on Douglas was carried out by a hit-team from Cabra who have links to the Kinahan Cartel.

They suspect the same hitmen were also behind the murder of Douglas’s pal Darren Kearns, who was shot dead at Cumiskey’s Pub on Blackhorse Avenue in December.

While Gardaí received information the pair owed money, they were also told the gang believed they Douglas had some involvement in a hit attempt on Kinahan associates at a boxing event at the Red Cow hotel last November.

However, Gardaí determined he couldn’t have been directly involved in that attack as he had been in a pub in Phibsboro at the same time.

Douglas would have previously been on relatively good terms with some of the people suspected of involvement in the previous hit attempt. He also had links to the Hutch side.

It is understood he was recently contacted by a man involved in the previous attempt on his life and told that he was no under threat from them. The same man is one of the suspects for this week’s attack.

His wife Yumei revealed yesterday how someone taunted her online, saying they were happy Douglas had been killed.

Writing online after the twisted message, she said “I don’t know what to say” and described the man as “evil”. She told the Sunday World that she was too upset to comment further yesterday.

Douglas was previously a member of the Provisional IRA and was sentenced to 12 years for shooting a garda with intent to kill during a robbery in 1983.

Six years ago he was sentenced to 10 years with five suspended after being caught with €562,000 worth of cocaine in April 2008.

The drugs were believed to have been linked to the Kinahan Cartel.

“There is some shock here in the area as David would have been seen out and about quite often recently walking his dog,” said a source.

“The assumption was that any of the trouble he was caught up in had been resolved as he clearly wasn’t in hiding.

“He comes from a good, respectable family as well.

 “And that’s what people tend to forget sometimes, when they hear about someone who becomes involved in drugs and are associated with gangland, is that sometimes there is a very decent family that unfortunately are caught  up in it too.

“His dad passed away relatively recently, but his family would always have been  considered a decent family.”

Alan Sherry and Patrick O'Connell