Gardaí suspect the dumping of body parts in a Dublin estate is a “mafia-style” message by drugs bosses and marks a “ramping up” in gangland violence.
Senior officers said that previous dismemberments in Dublin involved attempts to disguise the remains, but the latest incident appeared to be a “deliberate” public act, threatening not just rivals but local communities.
The body parts, believed to be four limbs, were found inside a sports bag left on a footpath in a built-up estate in Coolock, north Dublin, at around 10pm on Monday.
Gardaí are awaiting DNA tests to confirm the identity of the victim, amid fears they may be that of a missing 17-year-old boy from Drogheda, Co Louth.
Intelligence received by gardaí warned that the youth would be abducted, killed and his body parts found in a bag. Garda sources said that while this is a “strong” suspicion, they are keeping an open mind and have to await DNA results.
Detectives are investigating links between the feuding gangs in Drogheda and drug outfits in Coolock, half an hour’s drive apart on the M1 motorway.
“The top theory is that this [body parts] was left deliberately, to send a message out to people,” said one garda source. “It’s very sinister, very mafia-style.”
The second theory is that the remains were being transported to be hidden and that someone “panicked”.
However, several sources noted that the bag could have been thrown into a ditch as easily as onto a footpath.
A second garda source said: “In previous cases [of dismemberment] they tried to disguise the parts, but this seems deliberate. You don’t leave body parts in a big estate if you do not want it found.”
The source said if it turns out that the victim is the teenager from Drogheda it represents a “ramping up” of how drug gangs deal with relatively minor disputes.
“This is a new level for gangs,” the source said.
“This is about money and power and ego and cocaine. With that [cocaine] they are capable of anything.”
Meanwhile, an innocent taxi driver wounded in an apparent gangland hit on his front-seat passenger in Drogheda on Monday, has been reflecting on his lucky escape.
The driver, John Myles, was hit once in the back in the attack, but the bullet exited without causing significant injury.
In an interview on LMFM, he said: “The bullet went in and out, luckily enough it didn’t lodge in the back, if it had gone further I would have been paralysed for the rest of my life.
“If I hadn’t turned I would have been killed, my kids would have been planning my funeral.”
The target, a senior figure in the Drogheda feud, escaped unharmed.