There were fears that the country’s bloodiest crime feud has re-ignited after two gangland figures were gunned down in the same day.
At 8pm, 34-year-old Declan O’Reilly from Dublin’s south inner city was shot dead about 100m from South Circular Road mosque. It is understood he was shot twice in the neck with a shotgun.
A dark car was seen leaving the scene, and was found on fire on O’Curry Avenue.
O’Reilly was cleared of killing Crumlin-based criminal Derek Glennon in Mountjoy in 2007. He was later left fighting for his life after being shot after being lured to a meeting in Harold's Cross last year, apparently in reprisal.
Gardaí are investigating whether O’Reilly was murdered last night due to a feud with drug dealers in Dolphins Barn, Bluebell and Drimnagh.
They are also investigating if his murder is related to the earlier shooting of Gerard Eglington in Portarlington.
Yesterday at 8.30am, 27-year-old Eglington was shot in front of his 11-year-old step-daughter and infant son when a gunman entered their home in Kilnacourt Woods in Portarlington.
His murder was the 14th killing linked to a Crumlin-Drimnagh feud but is the first killing in several years. A Garda source last night said the murder raised fears of an escalation in the feud.
Eglington was a senior members of the Rattigan gang. Gang leader Brian Rattigan, from Cooley Road, Drimnagh, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Declan Gavin in Aug 2001, the first murder in the feud. He is appealing his conviction.
The other side of the feud is led by Freddie Thompson, who was extradited last year to face charges of involvement in international drug-trafficking in Spain.
The feud died down in recent years, due to the jailing or murder of key figures and emigration of others. Gardaí have kept a lid on feuding in the suburbs of Crumlin and Drimnagh as well as in the south inner city.
In recent years, a new generation of criminals has emerged and are loosely aligned to either side of the main gangs.
Detectives said the motive for Eglington’s attack may stem from a vicious attack, he was involved in, on a senior Thompson gang member and his wife outside a south city pub in Mar 2011.
In yesterday’s attack, Eglington’s 28-year-old partner left their house at around 8.30am to go to the chemist. The gunman, who was watching the house with an accomplice, then walked into the home and shot him.
When he was 15, Eglington was involved in a joyriding incident which led to the death of gardaí Michael Padden and Tony Tighe on the Stillorgan road.
Garda units in Dublin are bracing themselves for retaliation.