Daithí Douglas: victim had long history of criminal activity

Kinahan gang blamed Douglas for botched attack on senior member in November

Shot late last year outside the home he shared with his wife and child in what gardaí believe was a murder attempt, Daithí Douglas was still recovering from his injuries when he was targeted for a second time yesterday.

With bullet wounds to the chest and head, Douglas collapsed to the ground outside a shop run by his wife in Dublin’s south inner city.

The 54-year-old from Killala Road, Cabra, was not one of the higher-profile criminals in the capital but had a storied past and had been in prison several times for serious crime.

Armed robbery

In November 1982, when he was 21, Douglas was charged before the Special


Criminal Court

with the armed robbery of £24,500 from an


sub-office at Wang laboratories in


, Co



He was also charged with shooting at a Garda sergeant while trying to resist arrest after being found hiding under a tree in the People's Park in Limerick.

He was jailed for 12 years for both crimes, but it quickly emerged the Wang robbery was not the only raid he had carried out in 1982.

No sooner had he begun his sentence for the Limerick robbery than he was back in court for sentencing in relation to the three earlier armed raids.

In August 1982, he had stolen £98,000 from a post office in Tallaght, Dublin, and just weeks earlier – in July 1982 - he had robbed £2,000 in cash and £7,000 in jewellery from a woman amusement arcade owner in Rathmines, south Dublin.

And in February 1982 he stole£17,000 from the ESB offices on Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot. He told gardaí while in custody that the robberies were carried out on behalf of the Provisional IRA, a claim they believed at the time.

Machine gun

During one robbery, a Garda member on a motorbike was ordered off it after being threatened with a machine gun.

A gang member then kicked the bike onto the road.

In another, the gang Douglas was part of used a Volvo car as a getaway vehicle, with one raider armed with a rifle standing up through the sunroof and keeping his firearm trained on pursuing gardaí.

When they did not back off, a smoke bomb was thrown from the raiders’ car, forcing the Garda car to a stop.

On release from prison in the mid-1990s, Douglas continued his involvement in organised crime and by the turn of the millennium was heavily involved in drug dealing.

He and a number of other men were caught with 8kg of cocaine valued at €562,000 in 2008.

In 2011, Douglas was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five suspended, in connection with the cocaine seizure.

The shipment was believed to have been imported into the State by the Christy Kinahan gang, which is now suspected of his murder.

In recent years he and his wife, who is from China, ran the Shoestown shoe shop on Bridgefoot Street, where he was shot yesterday. Last November, when a senior member of the Kinahan crime gang was targeted by a gunman in a botched shooting attempt at a pub in west Dublin, the gang blamed Douglas and another man, Darren Kearns.

Shot dead

Drug user and convicted drug dealer Kearns (33) was shot dead in a pub car park at Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin, last December.

Gardaí believe he was killed by the Kinahans and that his killing is likely feud-related.

The same theory is now being explored for the murder of Douglas .

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times