NewsCrime Desk

Gangsters to go to war with psycho thug

Crime DeskBy Eamon Dillon
Billy Clare
Billy Clare

A RURAL criminal gang are set to clash with a psycho extortionist after a series of attacks on suspected drug dealers.

Thug ‘Buffalo’ Billy Clare, disowned by the Continuity IRA, is reportedly leading a gang threatening gangsters in mid-Leinster.

But sources claim gangsters in Athy, Co. Kildare and Carlow have joined forces after members of their outfit were attacked in recent weeks.

“They went into a man’s house and tied him up – they did this twice to people they thought had a few quid,” a source told the Sunday World this week.

However, the source added that they went a step too far when they directly attacked one of the most senior gang leaders in the area. Now the gang from Carlow and a criminal outfit in Athy led by a violent 25-year-old “are preparing to go to war”, claimed the source.

Gang members are boasting they have acquired automatic weapons as part of their bid to fight off Billy Clare’s gang of thugs.

In a bizarre TV rant last year Billy made threats to members of the Real IRA.

“I see republicans in Dublin, the likes of the Real IRA, I class them now as a legitimate target,” he said.

He also claimed that a former member of the infamous Westies gang, Bernard Sugg, was shot dead and “left squealing like a pig” by an INLA death squad of which he was a part.

He has previously been questioned in connection with the murder of Stephen O’Meara , who was buried alive in the Wicklow Mountains in 2011.

Stephen O’Meara 

He served time for membership of the Continuity IRA after being convicted in the Special Criminal Court of extortion.

Members of the local gangs in Carlow and south Kildare are known to associate with James ‘Liamy’ Ryan from Carlow, who has been the target of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). 

In 2014 he was described by officers from the CAB as being heavily involved in crime.

They said he was also associated with a number of people arrested over a major drugs shipment found in the Midlands.

CAB started their investigation into Ryan, who has 20 previous convictions for burglary and robbery, in 2010.

Buffalo Billy claimed to be part of death squad

They seized €13,000 cash from his wife and froze bank accounts held in the names of other relatives.

A court also ordered that a Toyota Avensis seized from Ryan could be sold off.

Also mixed up in the dispute is violent criminal John ‘Nogsey’ Nolan, according to sources.

Nolan had once been at the centre of Operation Bambi, a Garda probe into illegal poaching.

He is currently appealing a conviction for threatening to kill a man who had challenged him over his presence in a designated hunting area.

He had threatened to “smash his skull in” and burn out his house and vehicle, in what was described in court as “a totally unprovoked” verbal attack over the phone.

He is also appealing a conviction for ripping the collar of a private water keeper who challenged him over illegal fishing in Co. Wexford.

In 2007 he was given a two-year sentence for his part in a row in which an off-duty Garda suffered a broken jaw.

He also has convictions for dangerous driving and animal cruelty.

It was also reported this week that criminals led by Buffalo Billy have tried to extort cash from a businessman in Co. Wexford.

They demanded €20,000 and briefly abducted the businessman’s son after he refused their demands for cash.