Dublin’s latest gang violence victim was an “old school” criminal who operated “under the radar”, evading prosecution and the media’s attention despite long-running involvement in organised crime, Garda sources have said.
David Lynch (42) was an unknown to the media and had no criminal record to speak of, though his death is now being investigated as a drug-related murder.
Lynch, also known as David Chen, was shot dead outside his home on the Foxdene estate, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, on Friday afternoon.
His was the second afternoon shooting in a matter of days after a criminal was shot in the neck, but survived, at a retail park in Co Louth on Tuesday.
The latest victim, Lynch, had no criminal convictions for any form of serious or for-profit crime.He had been convicted of drink driving over a decade ago, and had another traffic conviction for failing to have an NCT on a vehicle.
However, despite the absence of any other convictions on his record he was a known associate of west Dublin and Kildare-based drugs gang leaders. About five years ago he was also under investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
He had been threatened by notorious Ballyfermot gang leader Mark Desmond a number of years ago.
Desmond had been charged with the murders of Darren Casey (19) and Patrick Murray (20) who were shot in the head and their bodies dumped in the Grand Canal in 2000. However, Desmond escaped justice when a witness withdrew evidence.
Lynch was so fearful he was about to be killed by his former associate Desmond that he moved away from his home and went abroad for a period.
Desmond was himself shot dead, aged 41, at Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan, in December 2016.
More recently Lynch has been associated with a significant drugs gang leader based in Co Kildare, aiding the financial side of his criminal organisation.
A number of crime gangs have been using car garages as a means of laundering drugs money, and sometimes using cars as payment for drugs.
Lynch was involved in a car garage business and another company in the food industry. Gardaí suspect he was secretly abusing his role there to launder and conceal the proceeds of crime.
Gardaí are now trying to establish if Lynch was murdered by his own associates, specifically the Kildare-based gang leader, as part of an internal dispute.
Other possible reasons for his murder had on Friday night not been ruled out, including possible links to the Kinahan-Hutch feud or to a localised feud in the Clondalkin area that has already claimed three lives.
Lynch was gunned down outside his home on Foxdene Avenue at about 2pm on Friday when a number of shots were fired by at least one man driven to and from the scene in a van.
That vehicle was found burnt out at nearby Buirg an Rí Glen, Lucan, close to a school. It had been set on fire, and a handgun with a silencer was found beside the van, having fallen onto the ground as the vehicle went up in flames.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was removed to the city morgue for a postmortem.
The body had remained at the scene on Friday pending the arrival of a pathologist to carry out a preliminary examination, before it was taken away for a full postmortem.
The area where the getaway vehicle was found was also sealed off, and was being treated as a second crime scene.