Opposition seeks tougher action against gangland crime

Opposition parties are today reiterating their call for tougher Government action to tackle gangland criminals in the wake of two fatal shootings in Dublin.

Opposition parties are today reiterating their call for tougher Government action to tackle gangland criminals in the wake of two fatal shootings in Dublin.

A 33-year-old, named locally as Trevor Walsh, was gunned down outside a house in the Finglas, north Dublin, shortly after midnight.

Less than 12 hours earlier, Anthony Foster was shot dead as he left his girlfriend's flat in the Coolock area of the city.

It is not clear if the two murders are linked.

The killings sparked calls for a clampdown on top criminals in Dublin, with Fine Gael justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan demanding round-the-clock surveillance.

"These two murders, back to back, show that gangland members still have the ability to target and assassinate their victims with relative ease," the TD said.

"The gardaí need the resources to conduct 24-hour surveillance of key gangland figures in order to drive them out of business.

"At the same time, any resources gardai need to rid our communities of guns must be provided."

Detectives have refused to speculate on a motive for the gangland-style killings but both men had criminal records and had been involved in lower-level drug dealing.

Walsh was shot up to four times at point-blank range outside a house in the Kippure Park area and died a short while later in hospital.

He was hit at least once in the chest but may have sustained several other wounds.

Gardaí believe a handgun was used in the attack.

Detectives said a lone gunman, wearing a hooded top, fled the scene on a bicycle.

No description has been issued for a suspect in the Foster murder.

Walsh, from the Tolka Valley Park in Finglas, was well known to gardaí and local community workers in the area and had around 50 convictions for alcohol, drugs and other offences.

He was jailed in 2006 for possession of ammunition.

It is understood the area near where he was shot dead in Kippure Park was being used for petty drug dealing.

Local councillors claimed they have reported the activity in the area to gardaí.

Superintendent John Quirke, who is heading up the Finglas murder investigation, said there was no clear motive for the killing.

"We have no motive at this stage, it's too early to say. It's far too early to make any guesses or suppositions in relation to that."

Foster, 34, was recently released from jail and it is understood gardaí are investigating his links with the drugs trade for the killing.

Two cars from near the murder scene at Cromcastle Court were taken away for a forensic examination and detectives are also investigating if the murder was linked to the theft of a bike from a nearby motorbike shop.

Foster had served six years in jail after pleading guilty to possession of IR£30,000 worth of cannabis resin with intent to supply.

The daylight shooting occurred near innocent bystanders and follows similar attacks in the area in recent months.

Earlier this month, a 21-year-old was left fighting for his life when a gunman shot him as he sat in a car in Darndale as children played nearby.

A small child, who was in the car at the time, was not physically injured.

In April, 30-year-old Anthony Russell - also from the Cromcastle area - was killed while he was socialising in the Ardlea Inn in Artane when two men wearing balaclavas entered the pub and fired a number of shots.

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