Shooting part of gang feud with Real IRA

Sat, Sep 29, 2012, 01:00

GARDAÍ BELIEVE the shooting dead of a criminal at his home in the Ballyfermot area of suburban Dublin yesterday afternoon is part of an escalating feud in the city between the Real IRA and gangland criminals.

The murder was the third gangland killing of the week.

While the investigation into the murder of John Wilson (35) is still in its infancy, the main line of inquiry is that it is a revenge murder for the shooting dead of key Real IRA member Alan Ryan four weeks ago.

Wilson had collected children from school yesterday and left them to another house. He returned to his home in Cloverhill Road, Ballyfermot, just before 3pm. As he went inside he was followed by a gunman who had had him under surveillance. He was shot in the arm and torso. The killer ran to a waiting car and was driven away at speed.

Frantic efforts were made to revive Wilson but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The area was sealed off by gardaí before Wilson’s body was taken away for a full postmortem.

Reporters were jostled by a crowd at the crime scene and warned by gardaí to leave.

Yesterday’s killing was the 13th gang-related gun murder of the year and comes at a time when such gain attacks are increasing in frequency after a lull in recent years.

While Wilson was known to gardaí and comes from a family in which some members have been deeply involved in organised crime, his only serious conviction in recent years was for possession of cannabis for personal use.

However, he had been arrested with a gun when in his 20s, and gardaí believe he drove the getaway car when the Players Lounge pub in Fairview, north Dublin, was shot at in July 2010.

On that occasion a masked man armed with two handguns opened fire on the outside of the pub, wounding a security door man and two customers smoking outside. All three victims survived.

That shooting was part of the feud between the Real IRA in Dublin and a number of organised crime gangs in the city. The gangs had at that time joined in a coalition of sorts to try to resist the efforts of the Real IRA to extort money from them.

The target on that occasion was a member of the Real IRA, though three completely innocent men were wounded outside the pub.

After that shooting, the Real IRA shot at and wounded one of the leaders of the biggest gang it was trying to extort money from after he ignored extortion demands.

In August 2010 the group of gangland criminals shot dead Daniel Gaynor in Finglas, Dublin. Gaynor had worked as a killer for the Real IRA.

He had shot dead Colm Owens (34) in Finglas in July 2010 because Owens was associated with the main drugs gang in Finglas, from whom the Real IRA were trying to extort money.

Gaynor also shot and put into a permanent vegetative state Robert Delaney (31) in Tallaght in 2008 after Delaney, a painter and decorator, became involved in a personal dispute with a republican. Delaney has no links to crime.

The most recent major escalation in the Real IRA-Dublin gang feud was the murder of Alan Ryan in Clongriffin on September 3rd.

Gardaí believe the Real IRA is now determined to avenge Ryan’s murder and to target as many of the gangland faction they are feuding with as possible.

Wilson’s brother, Keith Wilson (24), of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, had also become involved in the feud.

He was the gunman who shot dead Daniel Gaynor in 2010 and is currently serving life for that killing.

Another brother, Eric “Lucky” Wilson (27), was convicted of shooting an English criminal to death outside a pub in Spain in June 2010 and is serving 23 years’ detention in that country.

A man close to the three brothers is currently charged with murder and is awaiting trial.