The Rathkeale trader had been targeted in the ‘crucifixion’ attack after a dispute over a business deal, according to sources. It emerged this week that the man had been lured to a meeting at a house in Limerick where a gang of men grabbed him and forced him into a chair.
A nail gun was then used to staple his feet to the floor, before being left in agony to make his own escape.
Sources say a second man may also have been attacked, but did not report the incident to the Gardaí. One of those suspected to be linked to the attack is a dissident republican who himself has been the subject of punishment attacks.
Aidan ‘the Beast’ O’Driscoll suffered serious injuries after he was shot by fellow IRA dissidents in Cork in 2013. He was arrested by gardaí investigating the Limerick attack this week, but has since been released, according to Sunday World sources.
The 34-year-old, nicknamed ‘the Beast’ from his football playing days, was attacked near his home in the city. He was known to be a pal of murdered Real IRA chief Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in Dublin in September, 2012.
The IRA claimed at the time it was responsible for the attack on O’Driscoll, in a statement released through the 32-County Sovereignty Movement. They claimed O’Driscoll was punished for his “unrepublican conduct”.
The former underage GAA star did time in jail after previously being convicted of Real IRA membership, but the conviction was quashed after an appeal.
Sources claim that another dissident republican suspected to have been involved the nail gun torture session is Belfast native Gerard Mackin (pictured below), who was convicted in the Special Criminal Court of a murder in Belfast in 2008.
Three years later his conviction was overturned and a retrial in 2011 collapsed when a witness told a judge: “I have been threatened that if I give evidence I will be shot dead.”
Mackin is an associate of ‘Fat Deccy’ Smith who was gunned down in Dublin last year as he left a child to a crèche.
Two others believed to be linked to the attack have associations with Limerick’s deadly criminal factions, including both the Keane gang and the McCarthy-Dundon gang.