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Armed units in place as ‘gang target’ James ‘Nellie’ Walsh flees Dublin after escaping machine gun attack

Garda plan involving increase in armed units as well as covert operations now in place Threat level against Walsh described as ‘off the charts’

It's believed that James 'Nellie' Walsh has left his west Dublin base after the latest attempt on his life

Ken FoyIndependent.ie

A criminal who was lucky to escape when he was targeted in a machine gun attack last month has fled Dublin.

James ‘Nellie’ Walsh (36) is one of the most under-threat people in the country and sources say he has left his west Dublin base after the latest attempt on his life.

A garda plan involving an increase in armed units as well as overt and covert operations are now in place in the location where Walsh has fled to.

Sources say there are concerns that the gang who attempted to murder him at Donomore Crescent, in Tallaght, on October 25 are intent on finishing the job.

“A lot of resources are being put into this – it is about protection of lives. Where he is now based can be described as a generally peaceful area,” a source told the Sunday World.

It is understood that Walsh has been at his new location – which cannot be disclosed for security reasons – for over a fortnight. He has not come to garda attention since then, however, his movements are being monitored by specialist officers.

“The threat level against this individual is off the charts – his presence has gardaí on alert and they are dealing with this situation,” the source said.

It is believed that associates of jailed Kinahan cartel gangster Peadar Keating ordered the botched hit. But while Keating is in jail, a Tallaght man in his 30s has emerged as a suspect for organising the attempted murder and is now a major target for Walsh’s associates.

These associates are blaming the man for setting Walsh up last month and have made threats on social media against him.

However, sources say the theory that this criminal is to blame for the botched shooting is incorrect.

“Blaming that individual for setting up Walsh seems to be too obvious or too good to be true,” said one source.

There have been no arrests in the case which led to Walsh being hospitalised after he suffered minor graze injuries in the machine-gun attack.

Gardaí believe Walsh was lured to the scene.

They also believe the getaway vehicle was a white Ford Transit Connect, with partial registration number 10-D-180**.

This was found burnt out in Westbourne Green, Clondalkin, Dublin, shortly after the attack.

Walsh is involved in a number of bitter disputes, including with Kinahan cartel foot soldiers linked to Keating, who is currently serving 11 years for directing a feud murder plot.

One line of enquiry is that criminal associates of Keating ordered the attempted murder of Walsh as part of a long-running west Dublin drugs feud.

The feud has been ongoing for over a decade and has directly claimed the lives of four young men, including a man who was shot by mistake when ‘Nellie’ Walsh was the intended target.


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