NewsCrime Desk

Westies gang boss held over murder of innocent father-of-two

Innocent: Keith Walker
Innocent: Keith Walker

A notorious Dublin gang boss who is suspected of being behind the shooting dead of innocent dad Keith Walker has been arrested by gardaí.

The 38-year-old, who was once head of the Westies gang, was arrested by gardaí investigating Friday's attack which saw Mr Walker (36) gunned down in broad daylight.

Mr Walker died after he was shot repeatedly by a gunman dressed as a woman on Sherwin Road, Clonsilla, in what gardaí believe to be a case of mistaken identity.

Last night gardaí were questioning the notorious Dublin criminal, who was a close associate of slain crime bosses Eamon 'The Don' Dunne and Michael 'Micka' Kelly, about the murder, the Herald reports. 

It is thought that the intended target of Friday's shooting, Jay O'Connor, was behind a 2012 attack on the gang boss's life.

Both O'Connor and the chief suspect in this latest attack were both members of the Westies gang but fell out some years ago.

O'Connor was suspected of being linked to an attack which saw the mobster shot six times as he sat in a car in Hartstown in 2012. Sources say that the feud has been ongoing for some time.

This is not the first time that O'Connor has been caught up in a dispute with former associates.

The Clondalkin-based gangster previously fell foul of the Real IRA and had one of his fingers chopped off at the direction of Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.

He was tortured and beaten at Fairview Park in north Dublin, where one of his severed fingers was later found.

O'Connor was also a suspect in the murder of a Lithuanian crime boss in 2013. Gintaras Zelvys was shot twice in the body with a handgun as he arrived with his wife to open up his 'cash for clothes' business in the Greenogue industrial estate, Rathcoole, west Dublin.

It is believed that Mr Walker, a father-of-two, was shot because he arrived at a pigeon club in a car linked to O'Connor. The pair were friends, though Mr Walker - who was due to wed his fiancée shortly - had no ties to criminal activity.

Mr Walker was very active in his local community in Clondalkin and refereed underage football matches.

Two other men are being questioned in connection with the murder investigation. One man was arrested on Saturday morning in Meath. The final two arrests took place following a series of raids on Saturday evening.

Ken Foy and Laura Larkin