David Rooney, 35, died after being assaulted by a gang of men, during which he was stabbed in the head with a sharpened snooker cue.
Detectives suspect the brutal attack stemmed from a minor drug dispute and a money debt of as little as €300-€400.
The assault took place on Clonmacnoise Road in Crumlin, south Dublin, on the night of July 2. Mr Rooney, from nearby Durrow Road, died from his injuries 10 days later.
The savagery of the attack shocked the local area and gardaí upgraded their investigation following the death of the man.
Gardaí are satisfied the fight was over drugs, involving the sale of small quantities at local, street level.
The fight stemmed over a belief that a person supplied with drugs didn’t get what he expected and there was a dispute over money owed.
The victim got into a fight with four or five other men on Clonmacnoise that night. A Garda source said a “snooker cue that was sharpened” was used in the attack. “He was stabbed behind the left ear into his brain,” said a source.
Gardaí suspect all the of men who were there were involved in assaulting him.
Some of them are thought to have “put the boot in” after he had been stabbed and bleeding on the ground. Officers are happy they know the identity of the individuals and are expected to make arrests within a week. Gardaí in Crumlin and nearby Sundrive Road Garda stations are investigating a number of serious incidents in the past weeks and are hopeful of arrests.
On June 24, grandmother Jane McKeever was shot in the shoulder when a man recklessly fired into a house on Knocknarea Road in Drimnagh. She was holding her 18-month-old grandson at the time, who escaped uninjured.
The attack took place at lunchtime, as kids from a nearby school were on the street.
Gardaí suspect members of a crime gang were responsible and they were targeting people linked to a rival gang, who were not in the house at the time.
The two gangs are involved in a violent feud which has claimed some 11 lives since 2001.
In retaliation to the shooting, the rival gang shot up the house of the grandparents of the leader of the other gang. The couple, in their 80s, were uninjured but badly shaken.