Gardaí fear there may be further bloodshed over the Christmas period in the ongoing Kinahan-Hutch crime feud in the wake of the murder of Noel Kirwan on Thursday night.
The 11th killing of the feud, which began in September 2014, has sparked outrage and waves of condemnation, but officers fear it will not be the last.
The Irish Examiner understands that gardaí believe Mr Kirwan was targeted by the Kinahan cartel.
Noel Kirwan was murdered in his car as he sat next to his partner at about 5.10pm in the St Ronan’s Drive estate in Ronanstown.
It has transpired that Mr Kirwan’s family home in Kilbarrack was targeted by members of the Kinahan cartel in August.
It is understood Mr Kirwan moved to Kilbarrack some years ago and more recently had been living with his partner in Ronanstown. His father worked in the docks and it is believed Mr Kirwan inherited his father’s unusual nickname — ‘duck egg’ — from him.
“His partner was with him at the time of the shooting I understand. She is uninjured but obviously very distressed,” said Superintendent Dermot Mann of Lucan Garda Station.
Mr Kirwan, originally from Sean O’Casey Ave in Dublin’s north inner city, had been known to gardaí when he was a younger man, but was not believed to be an active player in gangland crime in recent years.
A lone gunman approached Mr Kirwan as he sat in his Ford Mondeo outside his home.
His partner, with whom he was living at the property, was with him at the time and saw the shooting, according to gardaí. The scene of the 16th gang-related murder this year remained sealed off for a forensic examination yesterday.
Mr Kirwan had just driven his Ford Mondeo into the driveway of his partner’s home when a lone gunman walked up and shot him several times through the driver’s window. The gunman was driven away in a white Peugeot Partner van, which was found burned out at Neilstown Shopping Centre.
Reacting to the murder, Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin said criminal gangs are flooding the streets with drugs as part of a multi-million euro industry: “Gardaí are doing great work, but they do need intelligence. It is people with courage who bring about change.”
Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald condemned the shooting. She describing the spate of shootings in recent months as “a scourge on Dublin and its people”.
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