Low-level drug dealing ‘enough to have your life taken’, warn gardaí

Young men urged against vying for position following senior arrests in Dublin gang feud

Murder victims Sean Little and Jordan Davis (right) were friends

Murder victims Sean Little and Jordan Davis (right) were friends

 

Even minor involvement in Dublin’s drug trade can get you murdered and young men should not become involved in the vying for position after the jailing of some senior Kinahan-Hutch feuding criminals, Dublin’s most senior Garda officer has said.

Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy suggested a new generation of young men were moving into the vacuum that had been created by Dublin-based Kinahan gang members being jailed or fleeing abroad.

But he said the murder of Sean Little (22) near Walshetown off the M1 in north Co Dublin on Tuesday and the gun murder of his friend Jordan Davis (22) in Darndale, north Dublin, yesterday reflected the reality of even minor involved in the drugs trade.

“It’s difficult to even term them young men at the age of 22 because they are only just after coming out of their teenage years,” he said.

“And all of a sudden their lives are taken unceremoniously as (has happened) in the last couple of days.

“We are really appealing to the young people who are out there at the moment; please do not get involved at any level with the drugs trade. One of the outcomes of it is that you don’t get to live a full life; that’s for sure,” he said.

“We consistently hear comments such as ‘he’s only doing a low level bit of dealing’ or ‘he’s only taking a little bit of gear here and there’.

“Low-level dealing now is enough to have your life taken at a young age. And we’ve seen it now time and time again across the city over the last number of years.”

Mr Leahy said while Mr Little and Mr Davis were friends, it did not appear their killings were linked.

In reply to questions about a video purporting to show both vandalising a car in an apparent attack over a drugs debt, Mr Leahy said like all possible leads it would be followed up.

He said the Garda was very grateful to the community in Darndale who had come forward to confidentially share information about the murder of Mr Davis.

Others had also contacted the Garda in relation to the murder of Mr Little.

However, in relation to the murder of Mr Davis in Darndale, Mr Leahy said the red mountain bike used by the killer to approach and get away from his victim had been in the area around the murder scene at Marigold Road long before the fatal attack at 4pm on Wednesday.

“It was in the area on the days preceding the killing and we know it was in the area in the hours preceding it. There are people in the area who know something about this and who haven’t yet come forward, so we would urge them to come forward.”

He assured potential witnesses their contact with the Garda and any information they supplied would be treated with caution.

He said gardaí were not sure if the people who killed Mr Little on a road between the off ramp at exit five on the M1 and Walshetown had gone north or south down the motorway after the killing.

Anyone who was on the M1 between 10pm and midnight and who may have dashcam footage should contact the Garda, he said.

While the murder investigations were still in their early stages, Mr Leahy said the Garda had “really good investigators” and had a Garda team based in Darndale that had built relationships with local people through community policing.

Against that background, he was “pretty confident” the murder of Mr Davis would be solved.

The Garda investigators working on the cases had successfully prosecuted similar killings in the past.

Mr Leahy believed the shootings of young men like Mr Davis, Mr Little and Zach Parker (23) - killed last January in Swords - may be one result of the policing of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

While the killings were not feud murders, they may result from the vying for position in the Dublin’s drug trade due to leading figures in the Kinahan-Hutch feud being jailed or fleeing abroad and leaving a vacuum.

“We have been dealing with a pretty serious feud that has strong international links over the past few years and we have been very successful in that regard,” he said of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

He said: “Lots of the people involved in the top tier of that have been convicted of murder and attempted murder and conspiring in other ways around that feud.

“A lot of them have also left the country and that has probably created a bit of a void in terms of who’s going to continue the trade.

“So we already we do see young people getting involved in that vacuum that has been created. Unfortunately an unintended consequence of that has been people in some communities are seeing younger people access to money, access to cars, access to women; everything that can sometimes go with more funding from the drugs trade.”

Mr Leahy added it was possible the recovering economy was now influencing the drugs trade as demand for so-called recreational drugs increased with disposal incomes.

“Yes, there’s more money around at the moment. Does that mean people are going to have ready cash to spend (on drugs)? Probably, yes.”

Asked if he accepted people may be too fearful to come forward about the murders this week, he said: “Of course this creates fear. And one of our functions is to go in and restore calm and give people peace and confidence.

“We have been doing that; I was out in Darndale myself with the community policing team only two weeks ago. The young people were quite willing come to up and interact publicly. And this (murder of Jordan Davis) is a really unfortunate event.”