Murdered drug dealer’s brother survives gun attack

THE brother of a drug dealer shot dead in a gangland hit in May 2009 escaped with his life yesterday after a gunman fired up to 10 shots at him.

James Clarke, a brother of murdered BJ Clarke, managed to run from his attacker before being shot in his leg.

The victim was chatting with another man outside a house on Adare Road, Coolock, north Dublin, at 1.30am, when the shooting happened. A party was going on in the house at the time.

A man ran across the Stardust Park wielding a handgun. He ran towards Clarke and let off between eight and 10 shots. Clarke, aged 22, ran and hid in a neighbour’s garden after being shot.

The man who was with Clarke — who is well known in the area — escaped uninjured.

The gunman fled the scene, but was picked up hours later when investigating gardaí stopped a car. The 24-year-old man was detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Garda sources said they had not found the handgun, but were hopeful of bringing charges against their suspect. DNA and forensic samples were taken from him.

A forensic and ballistic examination was conducted at the scene and samples were also taken from inside the house.

Clarke was taken to Beaumont Hospital, where his condition was described as stable.

Detectives have not yet established a motive, but do not believe it is linked to gangs. They suspect it may stem from a personal issue or a row from earlier in the night.

BJ Clarke was a mid-ranking drug dealer and was associated with a criminal gang in the wider Coolock area. He was gunned down in May 2009 in nearby Artane as part of a feud with a rival Traveller gang, headed by the Joyce brothers in Coolock. One of them, Tommy Joyce, was shot dead the following June in retaliation. His brother JP Joyce was murdered in January 2010.

Gardaí said there was no evidence linking yesterday’s shooting to the murder of Sean Winters in Portmarnock last Sunday.


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