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Dublin man (25) was hired by Clondalkin gang to help murder gangland criminal John Gibson

Bell was one of a number of men and women arrested in 2019 as part of the investigation into the murder.
Gardai from the Technical Bureau at the scene as the body of John Gibson (inset) is removed

Gardai from the Technical Bureau at the scene as the body of John Gibson (inset) is removed

Alan Sherry

A 25-year-old man who pleaded guilty to participating in the gangland murder of John Gibson, who was shot dead as part of a west Dublin feud at the Citywest Shopping Centre in Dublin over four years ago will be sentenced in March.

Matthew Bell (25), of Ambervale, in Cookstown, Dublin 24 appeared at the Central Criminal Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of Mr Gibson at Citywest Shopping Centre, Saggart, Dublin on 18 Sept 2017 intending to facilitate the activities of a criminal organisation.

No evidence was heard on Friday in relation to the offence and Mr Justice Paul McDermott adjourned the case for a sentencing hearing on March 4, 2022.

Father-of-two John Gibson was shot dead in September 2017 exactly a week after his friend Darragh Nugent was murdered in Clondalkin in another gun attack linked to the same feud.

Gardai believe a Clondalkin gang who were associates of gangland murder victim Jay Carroll ordered both killings but recruited criminals from the Tallaght area to carry out the hit on Gibson.

The Clondalkin gang had been in dispute with jailed gunman James ‘Nellie’ Walsh who is currently serving a 10 year sentence for another gun attack.

Bell was one of a number of men and women arrested in 2019 as part of the investigation into the murder.

One of the women who was arrested was suspected of acting as a getaway driver in the hit. One of the other men arrested is a former football hooligan with a number of convictions.

Gardai are satisfied Gibson was lured to his death after receiving a phone call on the night of his murder.

Gardai have analysed mobile phone evidence and CCTV footage as part of the investigation.

They suspect the Gibson was killed by criminals from Tallaght who were hired by the Clondalklin gang who were associates of Jay Carroll who was shot dead by Walsh’s gang.

Carroll’s associates have extensive links to the Kinahan cartel.

Darragh Nugent and John Gibson

Darragh Nugent and John Gibson

Gibson and Nugent were both believed to have been targeted by the Clondalkin gang because of their links to Walsh.

Nugent was considered a serious criminal who had been involved in gangland murders.

Earlier this year the High Court ruled that €83,000 in savings and cash of €10,000 belonging to Gibson could be seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau as it was the proceeds of crime.

The High Court said Gibson was associated with “significant drugs related activity” with major criminals.

The court also found that Gibson’s job as a fitness instructor and the salary he earned from it was in fact a “money laundering exercise”.

Walsh has been attacked on a number of occasions in prison as a result of the feud.

The bloody feud between Walsh and Carroll’s gang ignited when Walsh’s rivals murdered Dean Johnson (21) in a case of mistaken identity in August of 2013.

Johnson was totally innocent, and it emerged that he had earlier swapped coats with Walsh at a nearby bar and the hitmen mistook him for the criminal.

Five days later, Carroll (39) was shot dead in a revenge attack carried out by Walsh’s gang.

He fatally shot once in the face and twice in the arm at his home at Cherrywood Drive, Clondalkin, in August 2013.

Walsh is currently serving a 10-year-jail sentence for a botched gangland hit on the life of rival Michael Frazer.

During that attack in March of 2014, Walsh shot himself in the leg while fleeing the scene.

Frazer was shot in the car park of the Church of the Transfiguration, Bawnogue Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, on March 26, 2014.

Since going into custody, he has survived numerous attacks by rivals – while also being caught with mobile phones on a number of occasions.

In November of 2017, while in Mountjoy, he had his face slashed with a shiv (razor), leaving him with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

He was assaulted on the jail's A-wing, a protection landing where prisoners are locked in their cells for 23 hours a day.

The Kinahan cartel's main organiser in Mountjoy ordered the attack and offered two thugs €5,000 each to carry out the slashing.

Walsh is due for release from prison in August next year.

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