Notorious gang allegedly hired to protect council housing site in Dublin
A major investigation has been launched into allegations that a notorious gang involved in the infamous 'Ballymount Bloodbath' has been hired to protect a council housing site.
The mob, led by Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll (43) - jailed in 2013 over the violent melee which left one man dead - has been providing "security" at the Cherry Orchard site.
The site has suffered from anti-social behaviour, prompting a decision to hire a security firm.
Dublin City Council are now investigating claims one of O'Driscoll's key lieutenants is being paid to carry out the security work.
Local residents say their community is living in fear following a series of incidents.
The council has heard a number of reports where the gangster has been involved in intimidating residents protesting against the construction of modular homes in the area.
The matter has been referred to gardai and has been brought to the attention of the council's Chief Executive Owen Keegan, according to a senior council source.
"This is of the most serious concern. Our first priority is ensuring the safety of residents," the source said.
Locals also say they have been intimidated while protesting against the development of a memorial garden at another site nearby. The site is designated for 72 homes - but locals are opposed to it as it is on the site of the cherished memorial garden.
One local resident said the community is "living in fear" and feeling "suppressed".
"How has the council allowed a scenario whereby these thugs are being paid to do their work," a terrified resident said.
It's believed that the company in charge of the site hired the services of a third party security firm.
This is the firm in question that O'Driscoll's associate is understood to be working for. Dublin City bosses had no role in hiring the security firm and are understood to be deeply alarmed by developments.
The Council is also working to establish whether the company it employs directly had prior knowledge of the security firm's alleged links to O'Driscoll's mob.
In October 2013, O'Driscoll was jailed for 18 months for his role in a vicious fight which became known as the 'Ballyfermot Bloodbath'. It emerged that he threatened others with a crutch during the violent scrap which left another man dead as part of a gangland feud.
A spokesman for DCC said it does not "condone or approve" threatening behaviour.
"DCC has not hired any security provision for the rapid-build housing site. Responsibility for security on this site rests with the contractor. Management are also advising our Housing Department that we should ensure [we are] not complicit in any way with the decisions pertaining to security that may be made by the contractor," he said.
The spokesman said it has no responsibility for the second site in question, which is run by the National Association of Building Cooperatives Ireland.
"We do not condone or approve any threat made towards people who choose to legally protest and exercise their democratic right as citizens," the council said.