Hitman opened fire on gangster James ‘Nellie’ Walsh as he handed over €1k for used car

‘I’m not sure how close the bullets came to hitting him but no-one got injured. One of the bullets hit the front window of the house’

Target: James ‘Nellie’ Walsh

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Gangster James ‘Nellie’ Walsh had handed over less than a €1,000 for a Vauxhall Insignia moments before a gunman pulled up alongside and opened fire on him from point blank range – the car seller’s brother told the Sunday World.

The attempted murder of Dublin criminal Walsh (36) – the second time he has been targeted in the past six weeks – occurred just after 6pm on Monday.

We called to the home of the 17-year-old car seller in the Laurels estate in Carlow on Friday but were told by his older brother that the innocent youngster – who knew nothing of Walsh’s past prior to the shooting – has gone away for a couple of weeks.

Where the attack occurred

His brother, who did not wish to be named, also revealed how one of the incompetent gunman’s bullets struck the front window of the family home – inside which his nine- and 10-year-old sisters were being minded by his mother and grandfather.

“I wasn’t here when it happened … it was my brother who was selling the car,” he said.

“He was after selling it when a black car, I’m not too sure of the colour actually, pulled up and the lad in it fired off a few shots.

“The shooting happened just behind the wall at the corner there. All the shells from the bullets were over there. “My brother was standing right there (when it happened).

“I’m not sure how close the bullets came to hitting him but no-one got injured. One of the bullets hit the front window of the house.

“The two little girls and my grandfather and mother were in the house.”

It’s understood a second bullet fired by the gunman hit the car Walsh had just purchased.

The man said his brother had never had any dealings with Walsh before he came to buy the car. Cameras at the property were not connected and therefore not operating at the time of the shooting.

The man agreed it was lucky that no-one was hurt during the assassination attempt on Walsh.

Asked if Walsh had completed the deal for the car prior to the shooting, the man answered: “I’m pretty sure he bought the car before the shooting happened.

“It was a Vauxhall… it would’ve been for a few hundred euros… less than a €1,000 anyway.”

Another neighbour, who spoke with the Sunday World, said when he heard the shots, he initially believed they were fireworks.

“I heard the three or four bangs and I thought they were fireworks,” he said.

​ The man said his wireless camera system would have captured the cars fleeing the scene except it had been offline for charging.

“Otherwise, it would have caught both the cars taking off up the road.”

The bullet-damaged glass

The attempted murder of Walsh (36) is the second time he has been targeted in the past six weeks. It’s understood he fled Monday’s attack in his newly acquired motor.

A previous attempt on his life occurred in Tallaght on the evening of October 25,when he survived a machine-gun attack with just a graze to his face.

That attack resulted in Walsh fleeing to a location in the south east where he had been holed up until Monday last.

Detectives believe that 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 machine-gun shooting at Donomore Crescent, Tallaght on October 25.

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