NewsCrime Desk

Mob hunting for killer of gangland murder victim

Neil Fitzgerald
Neil Fitzgerald

THE chief suspect for the murder of a 36-year-old gangland criminal is under active threat from the victim’s associates who are planning to take him out in a revenge attack.

The bullet-riddled body of Neil Fitzgerald, originally from South Circular Road, was found at Hills Lane, Crooksling, off the N81 road between Tallaght and Blessington, at around 9am last June 5.

Fitzgerald was a key member of the gang linked to jailed killer Brian Rattigan, and sources have revealed that his cronies are determined to avenge his death.

The chief suspect in the case was arrested by Tallaght gardai and questioned before being released without charge.

It can be now revealed that detectives were involved in a frantic manhunt for the suspect after receiving information that he had been abducted and shot, but he later showed up alive and well.

The Midlands-based thug remains under serious threat and has been warned about an active threat on his life.

He is also a suspect in the attempted gun murder of convicted drug dealer Jason Kearns (30) in Crumlin in August.

Fitzgerald, who was a key lieutenant of the Brian Rattigan drugs gang, was shot dead in a remote location in Tallaght.

His body was found by a passer-by.

The Herald previously revealed that Fitzgerald was involved in a violent confrontation with associates of key Christy Kinahan cartel members only weeks before he was shot dead.

However, his murder is not being linked to the Kinahan/Hutch feud.

Fitzgerald had served a 10-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to possession of a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition and producing a firearm while resisting arrest at Dolphins Barn on July 23, 2008.

He also pleaded guilty to driving a stolen car and five counts of dangerous driving on July 18, 2008.

Gardai have become increasingly concerned about the activities of criminals linked to Rattigan.

The same gang are suspects for the knife murder of Philip Finnegan, whose body was found in remote woodland near Carbury, Co Kildare, on September 2.

Finnegan was last seen alive at his home at Mary Aikenhead House in Dublin’s south inner city on August 10.

Detectives quickly got information that he had been lured to his death by another criminal he trusted.