Gangland criminals monitored checkpoints, suspect gardaí

Checkpoint was carried out in the area not long before David Douglas murder

Gardaí suspect the men behind the latest gangland murder in Dublin had monitored armed checkpoints in the vicinity of the crime scene and struck when they were satisfied they would escape unimpeded.

Convicted armed robber and drug dealer David Douglas (54) was shot dead outside the shop he ran with his wife on Bridgefoot St, off Thomas St, in Dublin 8, last Friday afternoon.

The area has seen a spike in Garda activity, especially armed checkpoints, since the Kinahan-Hutch gun feud resulted in a series of murders starting in early February.

Many of those linked to the Kinahan gang and who are involved in the drug distribution and debt collecting in Dublin for the Spanish based leadership of the gang live in Dublin 8, making it a priority for high visibility policing in recent months.


However, while Garda checkpoints have been a daily occurrence close to last Friday’s murder scene and a checkpoint was carried out in the area not long before the murder just after 4pm, the police presence was elsewhere when the killers struck.

Garda sources said they believe members of the Kinahan gang were behind the murder of Cabra man Douglas, adding they had a large number of petty criminals keeping them informed about the movements of the Garda in various parts of the city.

However, the same sources said it was possible an element of luck had aided the murderers.

“It is hard to know, but even if they were a bit lucky this time, that luck will let them down sooner or later,” said one source.

Douglas had been shot and wounded outside the home he shared with his wife and child on Killala Rd, Cabra West, last November.

Gardaí believe members of the Kinahan gang were behind that shooting, which was treated by gardaí as attempted murder.

One line of investigation is that the Kinahan gang wrongly believed Douglas and another drug dealer he had served a prison sentence with, Darren Kearns (33), were involved in a botched plan to shoot a member of the gang at a west Dublin pub last November.

Douglas was shot and wounded almost immediately and Kearns was shot dead in a pub car park on Blackhorse Ave, Dublin, at the end of December.

Last Friday, Douglas was treated at the scene of the shooting by paramedics and taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital where efforts to save him were not successful.

Gardaí believe his killer walked up to him and shot him at close range before escaping the area in a silver or grey Mercedes Benz CLA.

The vehicle, registration number 161 D 26702, was stolen from the Navan Road area last Thursday week. It was found on fire at Spitalfields, close to Carman's Hall, Dublin 8, shortly after the shooting.

The gun was discarded close to the scene, a feature in previous murders carried out by the Kinahan gang in Dublin since the start of the year.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times