In a night of gangland gun mayhem, James ‘Nellie’ Walsh (36) survived yet another highly planned assassination bid.
The attempted murder happened shortly before 7pm at The Laurels estate in Carlow town.
Last night, a man was also shot dead in Ronanstown in Dublin while an associate of crime figure Mr Flashy was also shot in Finglas.
It was the second attempt on Walsh’s life in the space of just six weeks after he was targeted in a machine gun attack in Tallaght on the evening of October 25 last.
This led ‘Nellie’ to flee to a location in Co Wexford – and it was from this location that the feared gunman was brought from yesterday to Carlow by an associate.
It can be revealed that ‘Nellie’ was dropped outside a house as he was planning to buy a car.
However within two minutes of arriving at the 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.
None of the shots hit Walsh who was uninjured in the incident and drove back to Co Wexford shortly after the attempted murder.
Senior sources say that the criminal, who has been officially warned about an active threat against him, is refusing to cooperate with the garda investigation.
There have been no arrests in the case which is being investigated by Carlow detectives.
“This was an extremely reckless gun attack in a housing estate in which a number of children live close to the scene,” a senior source said.
“Gardai are investigating if a tracker may have been placed on the car that brought Walsh to Carlow and whether some of his own associates gave his rivals the information that he was going to be in the town,” the source added.
For over a month now, a special garda plan involving an increase in armed units as well as overt and covert operations is in place in the Co Wexford location where Walsh has fled to.
The threat level against the gangster is classified as “extreme.”
Detectives believe that the latest attempt on his life was carried out by west Dublin criminals with links to jailed Kinahan cartel gangster Peader Keating.
They are also suspected of being behind a shooting which happened at Donomore Crescent, Tallaght at 6.20pm on October 25 last.
There have been no arrests in the case which led to ‘Nellie’ being hospitalised for a couple of days after he suffered minor graze injuries to the face in the Uzi machine gun attack.
Gardai believe that a white Ford Transit Connect, with partial registration number 10-D-180** that was located burnt out in Westbourne Green, Clondalkin, shortly after the murder bid was the getaway vehicle used by the gunman.
The volatile gangster is involved in a number of bitter disputes including with Kinahan cartel foot soldiers linked to Peader Keating (40) who is currently serving 11 years for directing a feud murder plot.
Well-placed sources previously revealed that a major line of enquiry is that criminal associates of Keating ordered the previous attempted murder of Walsh as part of a long-running bitter West Dublin drugs feud, which has been ongoing for over a decade.
It has directly claimed the lives of four young men including a man who was shot by mistake when Nellie was the intended target.
Walsh was released from prison last July after serving a ten year jail sentence for a botched gangland hit on gang rival Michael Frazer.
During that attack in March of 2014, Nellie 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.
A garda spokesman has appealed for witness to last night’s shooting to contact them.
“Gardaí in Carlow are investigating a shooting incident that occurred in Carlow on Monday, 5th December 2022.
“A approximately 6pm, Gardaí were alerted after a number of shots were fired at a house in the Laurels Estate on Tullow Road. A window to the front of the property was damaged but there was no reports of any injuries. It understood those responsible fled from the scene in car.
“The scene was preserved and a technical examination is currently taking place along with local enquires.
“Investigating Gardaí are appealing to anyone who was in the Laurels Estate area between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on the 5th December 2022 who may have witnessed this incident to come forward.
“Gardaí are also appealing to those with camera footage or to any motorist with dash cam footage from the estate at the time of the incident to contact the Incident Room at Carlow Garda Station.”