The murder of Jordan Davis, who was shot three years ago while pushing his young son in a stroller outside a primary school, was linked to four other murders over a bloody 11 months in Dublin.
The first murder conviction in connection with the feud came this week when Wayne Cooney was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Davis yesterday.
At its peak three years ago, the feud involved dozens of people, engaging in deadly shootings, plots to murder and home firebombing.
At least three planned attacks were foiled while Gardaí had information about attempts to buy grenades and veteran criminals attending crime summits linked to the dispute.
The first murder occurred in January 2019 when Zach Parker, 22, was shot and killed outside a Swords gym.
A hairdresser by trade, he was also among a group of young drug dealers who made substantial profits before his death, which was linked to a local drug row.
The following May, three men were murdered in related circumstances within a week.
Sean Little, 22, a close friend of Parker’s, was lured to a secluded lane in Walshestown, north Dublin, before he was shot dead.
Less than 20 hours later, Little’s friend Jordan Davis, 22, was targeted while pushing a stroller with his four-month-old son in it down a lane in Darndale.
A jury found this week that Tallaght man Wayne Cooney was the gunman who fired eight shots at Davis, killing him instantly.
Although the murders were both linked to drug trafficking in north Dublin, sources suggested they were carried out by different groups.
A Coolock drug dealer, dubbed CD in court for legal reasons, is suspected of ordering the Davis murder over a $70,000 drug debt.
The fugitive criminal was later linked to a string of other shootings, assassination attempts and one murder.
Detectives investigating Little’s murder believe he was instigated by his own associates, and Garda Intelligence linked him to a West Dublin gang led by “Mr Flashy”.
One of the men blamed for involvement in Little’s murder was an Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid Sanambar, 41, also a close associate of the same gang.
Within a week of Little’s murder, Sanambar was shot and killed outside Little’s house as he arrived to pay his respects to the family.
Little associates are suspected of being directly involved in Sanambar’s murder, and while it was the first vendetta, it wouldn’t be the last.
In the months that followed, Gardaí foiled several shootings believed to have been planned to avenge Little’s murder.
The intelligence service also suggested that serious actors within organized crime were involved in the feud.
According to one source, a series of crime summits took place in North Dublin in July 2019 involving pedophile mafia boss Christy Griffin and Coolock area criminals linked to Little’s associates.
The feud had also spread to Ballymun, where a number of drug dealers were targeted after they took over Little’s Patch.
The local gardaí even received reports that a criminal was trying to get his hands on grenades to use in the argument.
Following the series of murders, Lake Garda’s anti-gangland unit also got involved in an attempt to prevent further killings.
A successful operation was conducted in July when members of the Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau (DOCB) seized two loaded guns intended for use in a murder.
One of those arrested was the fugitive CD, who had taken a more active role in the feud.
Another person suspected of being directly involved in the Little murder was Caolan Smyth, 30, a hitman originally from North Dublin.
In one of the more bizarre aspects of the feud, he traveled to England and took a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
His efforts were in vain, and a crackdown was organized against him in September.
However, the attempt on his life was thwarted just yards from Smyth’s home in Artane when Gardaí intercepted would-be gunman Edward McDonnell.
Sean Little’s father, Stephen, was also arrested near the scene.
Later he said to gardaí: “If you had given me another hour, I would have killed the bastard who killed him. I lost my marriage and my son.”
Both men were later jailed for gun offenses.
While Smyth was never charged in the death of Sean Little, he has since been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the attempted murder of James “Mago” Gately in connection with the separate Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Despite the backlash following the arrests, local criminals continued their efforts to target anyone suspected of involvement in Little’s murder or those who benefited from his death.
A planned attack was foiled after Gardaí seized a loaded gun in a car.
In the case of Clonshaugh drug dealer Eoin ‘Fishy’ Boylan, 22, he was shot dead for commenting on the murder on social media.
Boylan, knowing his life was in danger, was protected by local criminals, but a gunman shot him outside his home in November.
After a series of successful operations, the feud has largely collapsed in recent years and investigations into the five murders continue.
Cooney, 31, of Glenshane Drive, Tallaght, became the first person convicted in connection with the fatal shooting this week and received the mandatory life sentence for murder.
Mr Judge Tony Hunt said Cooney was “obviously an extremely dangerous person” who should not be considered for release until that danger is negated “in the long term”.
He noted that Cooney had fired eight shots and hit Davis three times and was “amazingly reckless,” considering Davis pushed his baby into a stroller while another child happened to be pedaling down the alley when Cooney opened fire.
The judge also commented that the murder served as a “sad lesson” about the dangers of being involved in drug-related crimes.
Although Davis was involved in crimes, Judge Hunt said he should have been dealt with by the police and the courts and “not by barbarians who go around with semi-automatic pistols and fire them near innocent men, women and children.”
He said Davis has a right to life and that his family and society have the right to a “proper investigation and prosecution of this outrageous outrage.”
Davis’ mother, Sandra Davis, described her son as a “gentle giant” and said that their “hearts were broken without him.”
Ms Davis said the family would always talk about him to make sure his young son “always knew how amazing you were”.
“You were a great father up until the day you were taken from us in such a cruel way. He’s similar to you in many ways, but he’s been robbed of your love,” she said. “We have all been robbed of your love.”
She added that “Jordo” loved big hugs and would always kiss her on the cheek whenever he saw her.
“You had a smile that would light up a room and your life ended too soon,” she said.
Following the sentencing, Mr Justice Hunt also paid tribute to the Gardaí involved for their “arduous and painstaking” work in finding and tracking Cooney.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/grenades-guns-and-gangster-summits-the-spate-of-deadly-killings-linked-to-wayne-cooneys-murder-of-jordan-davis-41826418.html Grenades, guns and mobster peaks – the spate of deadly homicides linked to Wayne Cooney’s killing of Jordan Davis