An internal INLA dispute and the Kinahan-Hutch feud are being examined as motives for the latest gun attack in Dublin.
A 38-year-old man was fighting for his life last night after being shot three times, including in the head, at close range.
Garda sources said the victim was on the “fringes of a lot of criminal groups”, including the terror outfit which has been recently referred to as the New INLA.
Detectives will also examine if there is a link with the Kinahan-Hutch feud, given the connections of other INLA men with the Kinahan cartel as “guns for hire” .
Senior sources stressed they were “keeping an open mind” on reasons for the morningtime shooting.
The victim is awaiting trial in the non-jury Special Criminal Court on charges of false imprisonment of a family last year.
He was shot near his home on Dun Emer Place in Lusk, north county Dublin, at around 9.50am.
The driver-side window of a white Volkswagen Passat at the scene was smashed, with glass on the ground. Blood-stained towels and items of clothing were found beside the car.
Eyewitnesses in the normally quiet housing estate saw a Volkswagon Golf leaving the scene. It was later found burnt out at the isolated Kihedge Lane, near the M1.
The victim was brought to Beaumont Hospital in north Dublin where his condition was described as critical.
“Obviously, his associations with people in the INLA will be examined,” said one garda source.
“But you have to keep an open mind. These guys can be involved in all sorts of activity and it can come back to bite them.”
Another source said the victim was “on the fringes of a lot of criminal groups including the INLA” and that all those connections would be examined.
The so-called New INLA, renamed after a reorganisation, is heavily linked with a range of criminality, particularly extortion and protection rackets.
Detectives will investigate possible links with the Kinahan cartel, given the suspected involvement of a number of INLA members as “guns for hire” for the cartel.
One INLA man, a bomb-maker from the north inner city, has been linked with at least one of the feud murders, that of Gareth Hutch last May.
Anyone with information regarding yesterday’s shooting is asked to contact Balbriggan Garda Station on 01-8020510 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
Gardaí are also investigating if last Friday’s murder of David Douglas in the south inner city was carried out by the Kinahan cartel.
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