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James ‘Nellie’ Walsh flees Wexford bolthole after latest attempt on his life

Senior sources said that officers are unsure of his exact location, with some gardaí believing Walsh has already left the country on a ferry.

Ken FoyIndependent.ie

Gangland target James ‘Nellie’ Walsh has fled his Co Wexford bolthole after last week’s gun attack on him, Independent.ie can reveal.

Walsh (36) had told gardaí in the aftermath of the attempted hit in a housing estate in Carlow last Monday week that he planned to move to the UK.

The criminal has left the south east of the country six weeks after he decided to relocate there following a machine gun attack in Tallaght on October 25 in which he received minor facial injuries.

Senior sources said that officers are unsure of his exact location, with some gardaí believing Walsh has already left the country on a ferry.

However, female associates of the criminal have been giving detectives conflicting accounts of where he is hiding out, with one woman claiming he is now in the west of Ireland and another saying he is back in the capital.

“One thing is for sure is that he is gone from Co Wexford and he has left on his own. Most likely he is planning his next move and probably trying to access firearms to hit back,” a senior source said.

New details about the garda investigations into both attempted murders can also be disclosed.

It can be revealed that a tracker was placed on the vehicle which Walsh travelled in before the ambush in October at Donomore Crescent, Tallaght, in which multiple rounds were fired from an Uzi machine gun.

The scene in Tallaght where James ‘Nellie’ Walsh was shot in October

This meant his attackers were able to determine exactly where he was when he was targeted at 6.20pm that evening.

Gardaí investigating the attack in Carlow did not find a tracker on the car that Walsh travelled in, but did discover a bullet lodged in the rear of the vehicle from the gun attack.

Officers in Carlow are currently trawling through hundreds of hours of CCTV in an attempt to establish the movements of the car that was involved in the drive-by shooting. However, poor quality lighting on the night of the shooting is hampering the probe.

Walsh is refusing to co-operate with the investigations and there have been no arrests in either case.

Gardai believe Walsh was “most likely” set up by his own gang on behalf of criminals linked to jailed Kinahan cartel member Peadar Keating, with whom Walsh has been involved in a bitter feud that has claimed four lives.

Walsh had travelled from Co Wexford on the evening of December 5 to the Laurels housing estate in Carlow with a female companion to buy a Vauxhall Insignia car, when a gunman pulled up alongside and opened fire on him.

Last Friday, a brother of the car seller told the Sunday World that one of the 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.

A second bullet fired by the gunman hit the car Walsh had just purchased. Four shots in total were fired at him from a 9mm pistol.

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.

Walsh was released from prison last July after serving a ten-year jail sentence for a botched hit on gang rival Michael Frazer.

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

Frazer was shot in the car park of the Church of the Transfiguration, Bawnogue Road, Clondalkin, on March 26, 2014.

While in jail, Walsh was also targeted in assaults and attempted knife attacks by his gang rivals and he is considered one of the most under threat people in the country.

Last week we revealed that he attempted to taunt his bitter gangland enemies by visiting pubs wearing a bulletproof vest and revealing to shocked punters that he had been the target of a machine gun attack weeks earlier.

Senior sources say that gardaí were left “baffled” at Walsh’s behaviour in the small Co Wexford community he has been based in recently.

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