NewsCrime Desk

Gang led by ruthless killer don bulletproof vests in seaside town

Senior sources say the mob source their drugs from a number of different suppliers including directly from the Christy Kinahan
Senior sources say the mob source their drugs from a number of different suppliers including directly from the Christy Kinahan

The drugs trafficking situation in Bray is largely controlled by a ruthless gang who are led by a convicted killer.

Senior sources say this mob source their drugs from a number of different supplier including directly from the Christy Kinahan cartel as well as having a "long standing relationship" with associates of gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.

"This gang are a very serious outfit and they were involved in two serious shooting incidents in the town of Bray last year," a source said.

"They are extremely protective of their own turf and they have a structure which involves one main man who has four other lieutenants underneath him and then a number of smaller level dealers.

"The gang are the biggest drug suppliers in north Wicklow and even into parts of south Dublin."

They are involved in everything from heroin to cannabis distribution, and have been active for over a decade.

Sources point out that the key men involved in the gang rarely leave their homes without bullet-proof vests and are extremely paranoid about being shot by rival criminals.

The gang are the chief suspects for the attempted gun murder of career criminal Jonathan Burke, who received serious injuries after being sprayed with shotgun pellets after an attack at a house in the Heatherwood estate in the town in November of last year.

The same gang are suspected of the shooting of Tiernan Stokes, who was shot in the calves in the People's Park, Bray, in August 2014.

A previous member of the gang, Philip 'Philly' O'Toole, was shot dead as part of a different dispute in January 2013.

Another criminal who had close links to the outfit is gangland killer Garrett O'Brien (28) who is serving a life sentence after being convicted of the murder of Shay O'Byrne in Tallaght in March 2009.

Meanwhile, a Wicklow man who is aged in his 40s who has links to the Continuity IRA has also tried to muscle in on the drugs trade.

Sources say that while his power base is more in the south of Co Wicklow, the man still has a growing influence on the drugs trade in the large seaside town.

The "businessman" has a huge property portfolio.

Despite the drugs problem, gardaí have had a number of major successes this year against the traffickers in Bray with some senior figures receiving significant jail sentences.

Ken Foy