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Deceased Dublin criminal known as ‘The Canary’ linked to murder and gun attacks

Gary Carey died at St James Hospital on Friday after failing to recover from a shooting

Gary 'The Canary' Carey

Brian Rattigan

Alan SherrySunday World

The Dublin criminal known as The Canary who died this week after being shot in June, was linked to at least one murder and involvement in a number of non-fatal gun attacks.

Gary Carey (41) died at St James Hospital on Friday after failing to recover from a shooting in Kilmainham on June 24.

Carey, from Islandbridge, had risen through the ranks in the underworld in recent years but made a number of enemies along the way.

He only served one significant prison sentence when he plead guilty to drug dealing at Dublin Circuit Court back in 2002 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

On another occasion he was charged with assault but the charges were later dropped.

Carey continued to rise up through the ranks and expanded his drugs operation, stepping on a number of toes along the way.

He was in dispute with the west Dublin crime gang known as ‘The Family’ and the mob led by Brian Rattigan. Gardaí are investigating whether those gangs were involved in his death.

Brian Rattigan

Carey was suspected of ordering a hit on Ballyfermot hitman John Wilson, who was shot dead by drug addict Keith O’Neill in 2012.

Gardaí received intelligence that Carey, who had been in a long-running dispute with Wilson, had put a €40,000 price on his head and that well-known Ballyfermot criminal David Reilly became involved in the plot.

Wilson was warned by Gardaí before he was shot that they had received intelligence of a credible threat to his life.

He was part of the notorious Wilson crime family who acted as hitmen for hire and had links to Mark ‘the Guinea Pig’ Desmond who murdered Carey’s brother Darren on the eve of the millennium.

Desmond was also suspected of involvement in the murder of Carey’s pal and neighbour James Kenny McDonagh (28), who was shot dead in October 2010. McDonagh’s remains were found in the Dublin mountains in January 2012.

Wilson was shot dead outside his home on Cloverhill Road eight months later.

Gardaí suspect O’Neill, who was not considered a major gangland criminal, was subcontracted to carry out Wilson’s murder.

The High Court heard in 2019 that David Reilly was suspected of involvement in a number of gangland murders but has never been charged in relation to any.

CAB told the High Court that Gardaí believed they had enough evidence to charge Reilly for involvement in the murder of Wilson. O’Neill is serving life for the killing but the DPP decided not to bring charges against Reilly.

Gardaí also investigated if Reilly had any involvement in the murders of Kenneth and Paul Corbally who were shot dead in Neilstown in July 2010.

Reilly is a leading member of a west Dublin gang along with veteran criminal Derek ‘Dee Dee’ O’Driscoll.

While Carey was previously on relatively good terms with Reilly and O’Driscoll it be believed they fell out in recent years.

He was also in dispute with the mob led by Drimnagh gang boss Brian Rattigan and the west Dublin mob known as The Family.

The Family who are one of the largest drugs gangs in the country were suspected of being behind previous attempts on Carey’s life.

O’Driscoll and Reilly have links to The Family and one of their young associates was suspected of being behind a botched hit attempt on Carey during which he escaped with graze injuries in 2021.

Carey was also feuding with Rattigan’s gang and is understood Carey mentioned Rattigan’s name after he had been shot.

Gardaí are investigating whether The Family and Rattigan’s mob were involved in the hit but have yet to make any arrests in relation to the shooting.

As well as being linked to ordering the shooting of Wilson, Carey was also one of a number of people questioned by gardaí probing one of several gun attacks on gangland target Michael Frazer back in November 2014 when a gunman opened fire on him in Islandbridge.

Carey was not the suspected gunman and was later released without charge.

His gang were also suspects in a number of other non-fatal shootings including an attack on Desmond in 2010.

He survived two separate gun attacks in Dublin last year and left Ireland for Spain shortly afterwards.

However, he returned shortly before his death after wrongly believing he was safe.


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