gangland mayhem | 

Kinahan-linked gangster identified as gunman behind botched hit on James ‘Nellie’ Walsh

Sources say that two innocent women “could have been easily” murdered in the gangland mayhem

James 'Nellie' Walsh

A bullet casing inside a container is removed from the driveway of a house on Harelawn Park, Ronanstown. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin© Colin Keegan

Ken Foy and Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

Detectives believe they have identified the reckless gunman who discharged four shots at one of Ireland’s most notorious gangland criminals in a targeted gun attack.

Sources say that two innocent women “could have been easily” murdered in the gangland mayhem and two girls – both aged under 13 who are normally present in the property were fortunately not there at the time as they were attending an educational course when the shots were indiscriminately fired.

It was one of three drugs-related gun attacks in less than four hours in one of the most violent gangland nights in recent times.

Sources said last night that a west Dublin based gangster nominated as the shooter has links to the Kinahan cartel and “information received” indicates that he had been planning to murder James ‘Nellie’ Walsh (36) for over a fortnight and may have been stalking his target during that time.

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

Sources also say that none of the three shooting incidents are connected to each other but are instead part of three separate west Dublin drugs feuds.

The attack on Walsh took place at The Laurels estate in Carlow town. It is understood he had travelled there with his partner, who is aged in her 30s, to buy a car.

Multiple shots were fired at Walsh as he ran to a nearby property.

An innocent woman, aged in her 50s, who came to the door and demanded that he leave the area was lucky to escape with her life as the shots rang out.

Meanwhile, the car seller was left cowering in the back seat of the vehicle which was struck by at least one bullet, according to sources.

Last night gardaí were forensically examining two cars connected to the incident.

While a huge armed garda presence was in place last night to keep gunman Walsh alive in his Co Wexford base, another Clondalkin-based drug dealer was not so lucky when up to eight shots were fired at him at around 10pm on Monday.

Father-of-one Cormac Berkeley was assassinated by a gunman as he sat in a car in the driveway of his home at Harelawn Park in Ronanstown, west Dublin.

A bullet casing inside a container is removed from the driveway of a house on Harelawn Park, Ronanstown. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin© Colin Keegan

He was treated at the scene, but sources said there was never much hope he would survive such were his injuries and he was later pronounced dead. His family were in the house at the time.

Only last month Berkeley and a close male associate were formally warned by gardaí of an active threat to their lives.

The risk to their safety was deemed so severe that gardaí across south Dublin were notified of it while specialist gardaí were also appraised of the threat.

Cormac Berkeley

Detectives believe they were under pressure from a veteran gangland criminal based in the Crumlin area and his junior associates.

Gardaí had also received reports of one incident in recent weeks in which a teenage associate of the veteran criminal was appearing outside the Berkeley family home in an act of intimidation.

Associates of the Crumlin man were previously arrested in a major garda operation last year which investigators believe foiled a murder attempt.

The murder victim, who is originally from Tallaght, has been a long term target for gardaí, including specialist units, because of his serious involvement in the drugs trade.

Locals reported hearing six to eight shots being fired in quick succession and then the emergency services arriving quickly afterwards.

There are a number of CCTV cameras on the house, and gardaí will be trying to establish if they captured any footage that could assist with the investigation.

Meanwhile on the other side of the capital, in Finglas, less than an hour before Berekely was killed, a very close associate of gang boss ‘Mr Flashy’ was shot in the buttocks and hand on Cardiffsbridge Road.

This attempted murder is part of another separate west Dublin drugs feud between the drugs trafficker nicknamed ‘Mr Flashy’ and his local rivals.

The shooting was reported outside a shop in Finglas at around 9pm.

It has emerged that ‘Mr Flashy’ was present when the younger associate was shot.

Mr Flashy

Both men are on bail facing serious charges linked to the bitter Finglas feud and had only signed on at the local garda station as part of their bail conditions minutes before the gun attack.

One line in the investigation is whether the gunmen had been watching the garda station knowing that the pair had to attend there yesterday.

They left in a taxi which was then rammed by another vehicle. They jumped out and ran and it was at this stage that multiple shots were fired at them.

The bitter Finglas feud which has seen dozens of violent incidents this year and the murder of James ‘Whela’ Whelan (29) by the ‘Mr Flashy’ gang in April.


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