Gardaí are attempting to establish a motive for the murder of a father-of-four, who was gunned down in front of his wife and children at his Dublin home.
James Talbot (46), who had a distinguished boxing career, was killed after a gang forced their way into his home in Lucan, Co Dublin, late on Thursday night. He was shot several times in the chest.
Gardaí say the murder bore all the hallmarks of an organised hit.
Mr Talbot, who also worked as a personal fitness trainer, had served a seven-year sentence in 1998 for drugs offences, but had not come to the attention of gardaí since then.
He was shot a number of times in the chest at his home in Abbeywood Court, Lucan, just before 10.30pm and was taken by ambulance to Connolly hospital, Blanchardstown, where he was later pronounced dead.
Car burnt out
His attackers escaped in a beige-coloured Toyota Avensis that had been stolen from the Coolock area and that was later found burnt out in the nearby Earlsfort Estate.
A firearm, believed to be the one used in the attack, was found in the vehicle and is being examined by a Garda forensics team. Investigators are attempting to establish why Mr Talbot was targeted and whether the men who carried out the murder had links to organised crime.
A Garda source said while the deceased had a serious criminal conviction, he was “below our radar”.
However, it is understood he was believed to have lived a lifestyle not in keeping with his level of income.
Mr Talbot, who had also studied law at university, had been arrested in 1997 in possession of £300,000 worth of heroin by gardaí who spent two weeks under cover waiting for the drug to be collected.
He pleaded guilty at Trim Circuit Court in January 1998 to possession of the drug and possession with intent to supply at Loughsallagh, Clonee, Co Meath, on March 1st, 1997.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of four kilograms of cannabis resin and possession of the drug with intent to supply at Foxborough Lane, Lucan, on February 28th, 1997.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone who may have seen the car moving or being parked to contact gardaí in Lucan on 01- 6667300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.