Murdered man was known drug dealer

John Breslin

Andrew Dillon, 29, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head and was only identified through his fingerprints, which were on file.

His body was discovered in a remote area of north Co Dublin around 4pm on Thursday. A team of 60 detectives and gardaí have been assigned to the investigation and an incident room has been set up at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

The body was discovered by a person walking along Green Lane, The Ward.

Detectives believe he was murdered some time after midnight on Wednesday and have appealed to anyone who may have been in the area of Ward Cross

between then and when the body was discovered to come forward. It’s not clear whether he was murdered where he was found.

Dillon, of Berryfield Road in Finglas in the north of the city, was well known to gardaí and had been involved in dealing drugs for some years, local sources confirmed.

He is the third person killed in gangland-style shootings in just over a week, following the murders of Eric Cummins in Cork and Vincent O’Brien in Wicklow. Both are believed to be drug-related.

Dillon had connections with a number of other dealers in the area and had contacts in other parts of the country. The exact motive of the killing is not yet known but it’s almost certainly drug or money-related.

Sources in the area said he operated from his home in Berryfield Road, which had been raided by gardaí on numerous occasions. There are reports he was about to be charged with firearms offences, though gardaí said they wanted to talk to him about minor offences.

“He was a drug dealer, into coke, cannabis, whatever, but no one is quite sure yet where the shooting is coming from,” said one source. “Certainly for years he’s been involved in a bit of drug dealing. I wouldn’t have classed him in the bracket of the main dealers in the area. His house had been raided many times by the gardaí and you could always see the traffic coming to his house on a regular basis.”

Dillon had been living and working in England for some months and only returned to Dublin in recent weeks. Sources in the area said he had been keeping a lower profile, either to avoid gardaí or rival dealers.

While Dillon was involved in dealing, most of his family, particularly his mother, are well-known and respected members of the troubled Finglas community.

Finglas, the target of much garda activity as high-profile attempts have been made to stifle the gangland activity, has been relatively quiet in recent months.

However, local Sinn Féin councillor Dessie Ellis said: “In terms of the amount of shootings, the police are stilling finding it very difficult to get to grips with it and the activity on the ground.”

Mr Ellis believes while the gardaí can boast of some success, the main dealers have not been caught out by the high-profile operations mounted in recent months, including Operation Anvil.

He called for greater resources directed towards “serious” undercover surveillance and other operations specifically targeting key dealers.

The Labour Party’s Joe Costello has called for extra officers on the ground following the violent deaths of five people in just over a week.

“We need the type of community policing where the public can see the gardaí and can be reassured that they are being protected,” Mr Costello said.

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