NewsCrime Desk

Westies gangster was intended target of pigeon club gun murder

Jay O'Connor
Jay O'Connor

The intended target of the Keith Walker murder was notorious gangster Jason 'Jay' O'Connor, who declared that "there's going to be war" after his innocent pal was shot dead in a shocking case of mistaken identity.

In the aftermath of the assassination attempt on him in June 2015, O'Connor (39) reacted with a foul-mouthed tirade to a newspaper reporter.

"I'll tell you a story, there's going to be a f**king war in Blanchardstown - they are f**king dead, stone f**king dead," he said.

"They won't see the end of the week", the notorious criminal added.

While O'Connor's shocking prediction has not yet happened, gardai are braced for more bloodshed in an ongoing feud, especially now in the tense aftermath of the trial.

O'Connor was previously in the headlines when he had his fingers chopped off in an attack by Real IRA members under the direction of their boss Alan Ryan in May 2013.

The former 'Westies' gang member, who is originally from Whitechapel Avenue, Clonsilla, had arrived at Dublin's Mater Hospital with two fingers missing on his right hand.

He had also suffered injuries to the back of his head consistent with a beating and torture.

One of the missing fingers was found in Fairview Park that evening and Gardai were alerted.

Doctors later sewed the recovered finger back onto O'Connor's hand, but a second was not found.

Despite his injuries, O'Connor refused to identify his attackers, but detectives quickly established that Alan Ryan's mob were responsible.

Ryan was shot dead himself four months later but O'Connor is not a suspect in that high-profile case.

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.

Detectives investigating the murder arrested O'Connor and two other Blanchardstown men shortly after the murder but they were all later released without charge.

O'Connor's behaviour during the murder trial when he lunged at hitman Christopher McDonald led to defence lawyer Bernard Condon SC asking for the jury to be discharged, saying it was "entirely inappropriate for a jury to see a witness engage in such a performance".

Mr Condon said O'Connor, pictured left arriving at the trial last month, had "pointed the finger at the defendant" and they couldn't "unsee what they had seen".

However, prosecutor Denis Vaughan Buckley SC objected to the jury being discharged.

He accepted O'Connor had behaved "appallingly badly", but said he was a good friend of the deceased.