cops 'baffled' | 

Gangster James ‘Nellie’ Walsh taunting enemies by visiting pubs wearing a bulletproof vest

Criminal seen taunting rivals in pub visits ahead of latest attempt on his life


Under-threat criminal James ‘Nellie’ Walsh has been taunting his gangland enemies by visiting pubs wearing a bulletproof vest – and revealing to customers he had been the target of a machine-gun attack weeks earlier.

Senior sources say that gardaí have been left “baffled” at Walsh’s behaviour in the small Co Wexford community where he has been based since he moved there over a month ago.

In the latest attempt on his life, in a housing estate in Carlow on Monday, Walsh had a miraculous escape after he had four shots fired at him.

“Walsh is meant to be keeping his head down after he was shot at multiple times in Tallaght last October,” a source said.

“But instead he goes into a number of pubs wearing his vest and when punters don’t react to his presence, he informs those present that he is the ‘lad who was shot in Tallaght’.

“Meanwhile, gardaí have had to set up a detailed plan to ensure that he is not shot at again.”

There have been no arrests in relation to the two murder attempts on Walsh, which happened within the space of just six weeks, although suspects have been identified in both cases.

The attempted murder of Walsh at around 6.30pm on Monday was the first shooting incident in a night of gangland mayhem in which two other men were shot – one fatally in Dublin – in the space of less than four hours.

Gardaí have seized two cars, including one which had a bullet lodged in it during the gun attack as Walsh was buying the vehicle from another man. It is understood this man had no idea who Walsh was when he agreed to sell him the car.

Sources say none of the three shooting incidents are connected but are part of three separate west Dublin drug feuds.

An innocent woman in her 50s was lucky to escape unhurt after she came to the door of her house and demanded that Walsh leave the area after he ran to the property as multiple shots were fired at him and his female partner aged in her 30s.

The October gun attack on Walsh led him to flee to a location in Co Wexford and it was from this location that the gunman was brought to Carlow by an associate.

Gardaí believe that Walsh was “most likely” set up by his own gang.

Within two minutes of arriving at the housing estate, a gunman in a car pulled up and fired four shots from a 9mm handgun at Walsh, who is believed to have been wearing a bulletproof vest.

Walsh was uninjured in the incident and drove back to Wexford shortly after.

Senior sources say that Walsh, who has been officially warned about an active threat to his life, is refusing to cooperate with the garda investigation.

Detectives believe the latest attempt on his life was carried out by west Dublin criminals with links to jailed Kinahan cartel gangster Peadar Keating.

They are also suspected of being behind the previous attack on Walsh, which happened at Donomore Crescent, Tallaght, on October 25.

There have been no arrests in that case which led to Walsh being hospitalised for a couple of days after he suffered minor graze injuries to the face in the Uzi machine gun attack.

Walsh was released from prison last July after serving a ten-year sentence for a botched hit in Clondalkin, Dublin, on gangland rival Michael Frazer.

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

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