GARDAÍ investigating the killing of Jason Egan in Dublin on Friday night are considering the possibility the murder was carried out by former members of the Provisional IRA.
Mr Egan, 23, was shot several times by a lone gunman as he closed his parents’ convenience store on the Ladyswell Road at 8.30pm on Friday night.
Gardaí are investigating whether the killing was linked to the murder of 32-year-old, father-of-two Wayne Doherty three months perviously in the Mulhuddart area.
Mr Doherty was killed by a shotgun blast when he confronted members of a drugs gang who were intent on attacking a neighbour following a brawl in a pub earlier that evening.
Mr Egan was a relative of the main suspect in Mr Doherty’s killing. The suspect has since fled the country and is believed to be in Eastern Europe.
Republican sources have confirmed that Provisional IRA members considered Mr Doherty as “covered by their mandate”. It is unclear whether he was a member of the Provisional IRA at the time of his death.
Mr Doherty was buried with what some media described as a paramilitary-style funeral, his tricolour-draped coffin accompanied by several uniformly dressed men.
What remains of the Provisional IRA’s command structure does not have the authority from the republican movement’s leadership to sanction violent acts since the organisation was stood down in July 2005.
Since the early part of this decade, several former leading members of the Provos’ ‘Dublin Brigade’ have drifted into the ranks of the dissident republican groups and are active in the drugs trade. One former leading member of the Provisionals has been linked to the October 2008 shooting of 27-year-old postman Robert Delaney.
Many other Provisional members accepted the decision to “stand down” and have no link to criminal activity.
However, former members still have access to handguns and have made it clear to criminal elements that they retain the right to retaliate against those who attack republican activists. The decision to take any retaliatory actions would be taken completely independent of Sinn Féin.
The republican source said: “The Provisionals are no longer a real presence in the city, but after the failure of the Garda to pursue Wayne’s killers successfully, former members were discussing the need to take some sort of action.”
He added; “I would not expect any further attacks on those associated with the Provisionals, as it is very clear that there would be a serious response.”
A Sunday newspaper carried an interview with Mr Doherty’s parents in which they dismissed suggestions that Mr Egan’s killing was linked to his. They also extended their sympathies to the Egan family.
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