Drug dealer Whelan was set up and left in a burning car by his associates who then visited his family home
Drug dealer Whelan was shot dead in a car on Mount Andrew Rise in Lucan, Dublin on the evening of November 18, 2019 before the car was set on fire with his remains inside.
Whelan (42) was set up by his close pal Anthony Casserly, who lured him out on the pretence of going to the pub to watch an Ireland game.
Casserly's uncle, Christopher Moran, was the getaway driver in the hit.
Both men, who have addresses at Rowlagh Park in Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to their involvement in the attack and Casserly (25) will be sentenced at the end of January, while Moran (52) will be sentenced in April.
The murder was linked to a dispute in west Dublin which also claimed the life of Whelan's pal David 'Chen' Lynch months before Whelan was killed.
In a victim impact statement, Whelan's sister, Hazel Grainger, said "the sickening part" was that her brother trusted Casserly, who came to the family home that night when everyone was frantically trying to locate Wayne.
It was the second attempt to murder him after he survived another gun attack two months earlier.
At the time of his death he was considered a significant mid-level gangland figure.
Whelan started out his criminal career as a joyrider and had links to the M50 gang who carried out burglaries and robberies in the 1990s.
He soon became involved in drug dealing, gradually becoming a significant player.
He was arrested with €4m worth of cocaine at a cocaine mixing factory in Maynooth in 2005 and while he was charged in connection with the haul he got off after bringing a successful 'habeus corpus' case to the High Court.
The High Court found that proper procedures were not followed when he originally appeared in the District Court. The charges against him were later withdrawn.
Whelan had no major convictions but was considered to be actively involved in organised crime.
He was an associate of notorious criminal Mark Desmond and previously gave evidence on his behalf when Desmond was on trial for unlawful possession of firearms with intent to endanger life as part of the investigation into the murders of Patrick Murray (19) and Darren Carey (20) who were believed to have been killed by Desmond in 1999.
Desmond was shot dead in 2016 and a man has been charged in connection with his murder.
Whelan was also pals with David 'Chen' Lynch, who was shot dead in Clondalkin in March 2019.
The Whelan shooting and Lynch shootings are understood to be linked.
Both men had been targets of the Criminal Assets Bureau and made settlements of over €150,000 each.
Whelan also had links to Jason 'Jay' Carroll, who was shot dead as a part of a separate feud in west Dublin in 2013.
Associates of Carroll had links to the Kinahan cartel and recruited other criminal gangs into carrying out gun attacks ordered by the cartel, while Whelan, like other Dublin criminals, was suspected of being recruited into cartel hit plots.
Two months before his murder, Whelan was shot by Limerick gun-for-hire Wayne Ryan at Griffeen Glen Park in Lucan but survived the hit and posed smiling in a picture from his hospital bed.
Ryan was one of four men convicted in relation to the murder plot in September. Another man who cannot be named but who was previously an associate of Whelan was also convicted in relation to that attack.