NewsCrime Desk

Karl Breen’s D 22 gang linked to missing Wicklow man

Crime DeskBy Alan Sherry
Barry Corcoran
Barry Corcoran

FORMER associates of the late gang boss Karl Breen are the prime suspects in the disappearance of a Wicklow father-of-one.

Barry Corcoran (38), from Wicklow town, has been missing since Monday, July 6, when he told pals he was going to Dublin and would be back the following day. 

The dad of one was a drug addict who had convictions for minor offences linked to his addiction, but was not believed to be a serious criminal. 

However, sources say he had been under threat from the remnants of a Clondalkin gang once led by ‘champagne killer’ Karl Breen. 

Breen was found dead in an apartment in Finglas in February, shortly after his release from prison. It is believed drugs contributed to the paranoid thug’s death. 

Karl Breen

Shortly before his death he told the Sunday World he believed he would be found dead and gardai would make it look like an accident. 

He had served a sentence for the manslaughter of his friend during a New Year celebration in a hotel and was previously involved in a bitter feud between rival gangs in west Dublin. 

He led a gang of ruthless thugs known as the D22 gang.

The gang were linked to at least three gangland murders, including the killing of Owen McCarthy (22), who was taken to the Wicklow Gap and shot in the head in November 2005. 

The gang were also suspected of shooting dead printer Damien Dowdall (22), at his Clonalkin home in January 2007. Dowdall had no criminal convictions but was believed to be involved in a row with Breen’s gang.  

The same mob are also suspected of shooting Thomas McDonagh (28), dead in Clondalkin less than a month later.

The murders stopped after Breen was convicted of the fatal stabbing of his pal Martin McLaughlin in 2007. 

The murder of Breen’s enforcer Pierce Reid, in Clondalkin in 2009, also weakened the gang. 

However, other gang members remain active in the drug world and the remnants of that gang are now under suspicion in relation to Barry’s disappearance.

“He had a falling out with members of that gang, so that is the main line of inquiry at the moment,” said a source.

It is believed he travelled to the Clondalkin area of west Dublin to meet a member of the gang and hasn’t been seen since. 

His brother William said he fears the worst. 

“Whether it is good or bad, we need to know. We need this to end.

“We have no clues, but I fear something terrible has happened.”

Mr Corcoran is 5ft1in in height and of medium build with grey hair. When last seen he was wearing dark jeans, black Puma runners and a light-blue mac.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gardai in Wicklow or the Confidential line on 1800 666111.