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€70k Finglas drugs seizure not linked to feuding gangs at centre of James Whelan murder

'So what is being looked at here is that the drugs are connected to a separate criminal organisation based in Finglas'

Some of the drugs seized

Ken Foy

A €70,000 drugs seizure in Finglas is not linked to either of the gangs involved in the feud at the centre of the murder of gangland criminal James Whelan in the locality on Sunday morning.

The drugs were discovered by gardai during a planned search on Monday afternoon in the Dunsink Lane area of the troubled northside suburb.

There have been no arrests so far.

“Gardai are satisfied at this stage that these drugs are not connected to either the ‘Mr Flashy’ gang or criminals connected to Whelan or for that matter the so-called ‘Monkey gang’,” a source said.

“So what is being looked at here is that the drugs are connected to a separate criminal organisation based in Finglas.

“It just goes to show how many different crime gangs are operating in the district and how much drugs are in circulation,” the source added.

The seizure was made as massive investigation continues into the murder of Whelan (29) who it is suspected was murdered by his bitter enemies in the ‘Mr Flashy’ gang shortly after 4am on Sunday in their stronghold of the Deanstown area of Finglas.

Like in the drugs seizure, there has been no arrests so far in that case and sources described the atmosphere in Finglas on Tuesday as being “tense but very quiet – everyone seems to have gone to ground.”

“Even the goading on social media seems to have died down,” the source said.

Gardai announced details of the Dunsink drugs bust in a statement.

“On Monday 4th April, 2022 in the course of an ongoing intelligence led investigation targeting serious and organized crime in Finglas and North Dublin, Gardaí attached to Finglas and supported by members of Scenes of Crime unit conducted a search operation at a site in Finglas, Dublin 11 and seized drugs with an estimated street value of €70,000,” a garda spokeswoman said.

“The operation took place over a number of hours on Monday afternoon and cannabis and zopiclone tablets (subject to analysis) with an estimated street value of €70,600 were seized.

“The drugs will now be forwarded for analysis.

“No persons were arrested during the operation and investigations are ongoing,” she added.

The seizure comes in a week in which will be harder for the feuding gangs in Finglas to move drugs around because of increased garda activity following the murder at the weekend.

Gangland murder victim James Whelan, who was shot dead on Sunday

Murder victim Whelan who was a father-of-one was one of the main antagonists in the feud with drug dealer Mr Flashy (27) and his associates which has seen a number of tit-for-tat incidents including assaults, shootings, bomb attacks and threats to the lives of innocent people.

James Whelan was linked to criminals feuding with ‘Mr Flashy’ and had been the subject of threats on social media.

He had formerly been a close associate of ‘Mr Flashy’ and the pair were regularly spotted in each-others company including at a Rihanna in 2016.

Gardaí also previously described him in court as a member of that organised crime group in the Finglas area during an application to have €30,000 seized from Whelan.

However, he split from the crime gang in recent years and became involved with a rival grouping.

Evidence was also given in the 2018 hearing that he had 57 previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences, but including two for simple possession of drugs in 2015 and two for car theft.

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