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Friends in low places Gangland murder suspect links up with Dublin mob boss John Gilligan in Spain

The pint-sized thug has been spotted hanging out with a number of Dublin criminal figures down in Spain, including a man linked to the murder of Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar

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Gilligan celebrating just hours after the anniversary of Guerin murder.

Gilligan celebrating just hours after the anniversary of Guerin murder.

Gilligan celebrating just hours after the anniversary of Guerin murder.

A criminal suspected of involvement in a gangland murder has hooked up with John Gilligan in Spain.

Gilligan, whose gang murdered crime journalist Veronica Guerin 25 years ago, is now based in ­Torrevieja, Alicante, as he awaits trial in ­relation to firearms offences.

The pint-sized thug has been spotted hanging out with a number of Dublin criminal figures down in Spain, including a man linked to the murder of Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar, who was shot dead in Dublin in 2019.

A man suspected of being the getaway driver in that killing fled to Spain after the shooting and has been spotted hanging out with Gilligan in recent times.

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Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar.

Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar.

Iranian hitman Hamid Sanambar.

The driver is from Artane in north Dublin and was pals of drug dealer Sean Little who had been shot dead days before Sanambar.

The Artane man has no major convictions and comes from a respectable family but has close links to well-known criminal figures and was aligned with Little.

It is understood gardai will look to speak to him about Sanambar's murder if he returns to Ireland.

Little's murder sparked off a series of shootings and plots for revenge on the northside of Dublin after he was shot dead in Balbriggan in 2019.

Months earlier, his pal Zach Parker, who was also involved in the drugs trade, was shot dead, with associates of a gang led by the Finglas criminal known as 'Mr Flashy' blamed for ordering the hit.

At the time, it was claimed that Little had planned revenge for Parker's murder and was taken out before he could do anything.

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Zach Parker was shot dead

Zach Parker was shot dead

Zach Parker was shot dead

Days after that killing gardai were dealing with another murder when Sanambar was shot dead outside Sean Little's house where family and friends had been paying their respects.

Sanambar was pals with Little but rumours in the underworld suggested that he may have been involved in setting him up so he was taken out by Little's friends.

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A young criminal with close links to David 'Fred' Lynch, who was shot dead by ­hitman Robbie Lawlor, as part of a separate feud over a decade ago, is one of a number of men suspected of involvement in Sanambar's killing.

The young criminal - who survived a shooting last year - is also linked to the Artane criminal.

They are part of a wider network of ­ciminals working under Mr Big.

The Artane getaway driver also has ties to Jake Kearney (26), from Coolock Drive, Dublin 17, who was jailed for five years last year after being caught with a loaded firearm ahead of what gardaí believe was an "imminent" revenge attack by associates of Little.

Kearney was caught with a Luger-calibre Grand Power semi-automatic pistol at Oscar Traynor Road, Santry, Dublin 9, on October 30, 2019.

He was described by gardaí as a "trusted member" of an organised crime gang. His mother's home was petrol bombed by rival criminals after his arrest.

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Jake Kearney was jailed after being caught with a loaded firearm.

Jake Kearney was jailed after being caught with a loaded firearm.

Jake Kearney was jailed after being caught with a loaded firearm.

Weeks before Kearney's arrest Little's father Stephen (48) was arrested by ­ gardaí, who found him with a firearm which he planned to use to whack ­criminal ­figure Caolan Smyth who he blamed for his son's death.

Smyth has since been given a 20-year sentence for an attempted murder of James 'Mago' Gately, as part of the ­separate Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Stephen Little, who had been caught with a semi-automatic pistol at Lein Park, Harmonstown, Dublin, on September 14, 2019, told gardaí after his arrest: "Had you given me another hour, I would have killed the b*****d that killed him."

Little was given a six-year prison ­sentence after conviction.

His co-accused Edward McDonnell (57), of Waterside Apartments, New Ross, Co Wexford, was sentenced to nine years for unlawful possession of the semi-automatic weapon at the same date and location.

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Drug dealer Sean Little’s killing sparked number of attacks.

Drug dealer Sean Little’s killing sparked number of attacks.

Drug dealer Sean Little’s killing sparked number of attacks.

There had been several other incidents linked to feuding in the fall-out from Little's murder and the Artane criminal left Ireland for Spain after Sanambar's murder.

Several criminals with links to Mr Big are based in Spain, where they are ­believed to be involved in the drugs trade as part of his operation.

Gilligan sparked fury last week when a video was posted of him celebrating in Spain, hours before the 25th anniversary of Veronica Guerin's murder.

Pals of Gilligan shouted, "he didn't do it" in the background as Gilligan raised his glass in celebration.

Gilligan is currently out on bail in Spain after being arrested on firearms and drugs charges last year.

He faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

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