Murder of Dubliner (34) may be linked to gangland feuding

Gardaí investigate attack in Blanchardstown on Saturday night

Dubliner Eric Fowler (34)  was shot dead in Blanchardstown on Saturday night

Dubliner Eric Fowler (34) was shot dead in Blanchardstown on Saturday night

 

A fatal shooting in Dublin on Saturday night is believed to be part of a gangland feud involving the Kinahan cartel.

The attack, which has all the hallmarks of a well-planned assassination, occurred in Blanchardstown just before 7pm. The dead man, Dubliner Eric Fowler (34), was closely associated with people linked to the Kinahan drugs cartel in the city.

Gardaí began a murder investigation on Saturday night.

Gardaí preserve the scene of the shooting at Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown. Photograph: Collins
Gardaí preserve the scene of the shooting at Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown. Photograph: Collins
A burnt out Volkswagon Jetta found at the Rushenney Estate near Clonee. Photograph: Collins.
A burnt out Volkswagon Jetta found at the Rushenney Estate near Clonee. Photograph: Collins.
Gardaí preserve the scene after a shooting at Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins
Gardaí preserve the scene after a shooting at Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

The emergency services were called to the scene immediately when the victim was shot at Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown, at approximately 6.50pm.

The dead man, who lived on the road where he was shot, was given emergency treatment at the scene by paramedics. However, their efforts to save him were not successful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, which has now been sealed off.

The deceased’s remains were left in situ overnight pending the arrival of a pathologist.

The man’s body can only be removed for a full postmortem after it has undergone a preliminary examination at the crime scene by the pathologist.

A statement from the Garda on Saturday night confirmed the victim was in his 30s and that he had died as a result of gunshots.“Gardaí in Blanchardstown are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them,” the statement said.

A Volkswagen Jetta was found burnt out in Clonee after the shooting.

Victim’s associates

A middle-aged man the victim had known all his life has served a prison sentence for possessing a commercial quantity of cannabis.

That older man is known to be close to some of the criminals who have worked for the Kinahan cartel, and gardaí are trying to establish if the man killed on Saturday night was targeted because of his middle-aged associate’s links to members of the gang.

The older man was arrested last year in a Garda operation targeting the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

One of the other men arrested with him on the day was Estonian Imre Arakas. He had travelled to the Republic having been recruited by the Kinahan gang to murder Dublin man James Gately, a close associate of the Hutch family.

Arakas (60) was jailed for six years the week before last for his part in the conspiracy to murder Gately in an attack planned as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Gately had fled to Belfast because he feared he would be shot by the Kinahan gang. Gardaí believe the Estonian was planning to shoot Gately in Belfast within 24 to 48 hours at the time of his arrest in April 2017.

Though that conspiracy to murder Gately was foiled, he was targeted weeks later in Dublin by another gunman working for the Kinahan gang. He survived that attack.

The victim of Saturday’s shooting had previously worked as a tradesman in a family-run business. More recently he had worked in the motor industry.

He was in court earlier this month on a drink-driving charge.