Gardaí fear more violence will erupt in a north-west Dublin suburb after a man was shot dead in an alleged gang killing.
Ames Whelan, 29, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest just before 4.30am yesterday in the Deanstown Avenue neighborhood of Finglas.
He had links to criminals in the area and was previously described in court as a member of an organized criminal gang.
A murder investigation is ongoing and at this time detectives believe he was shot as part of a feud between rival gangs in Finglas.
One side is led by a drug dealer in his late 20s known as “Mr Flashy” while Whelan was allied with the rival faction.
In recent weeks, Gardaí have faced a series of serious incidents, including a grenade attack, a kidnapping in broad daylight and multiple assaults.
Gardaí now fear there will be more bloodshed and reprisals in the wake of the Whelan gun killing.
Two gun attacks on properties in the area within 24 hours over the weekend are also believed to be linked to the dispute.
An innocent relative of Whelan’s had shot at her home on Friday night, while his associates are suspected of attacking a home in the Deanstown area on Saturday afternoon. Multiple shots were fired at the property, damaging windows and doors, but no injuries were reported.
Yesterday’s killing is the first gang killing since the fatal shooting of Paddy Lyons in Ballymun in March last year. He was not involved in organized crime but was reportedly attacked by a drug gang.
While the number of gangster killings had been falling during the Covid lockdown, there are concerns that drug-related and feud-related killings could be on the rise.
Emergency services were alerted to yesterday’s gunfire just before 4.30am and bystanders provided CPR before paramedics from Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) arrived.
Despite best efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Garda spokesman said arrangements were being made for an autopsy. He appealed to anyone with information to contact Gardaí.
James Whelan had been linked to criminals who had fallen out with “Mr Flashy” and had been the subject of threats on social media.
He had previously been a close associate of ‘Mr Flashy’ and the two were regularly spotted in each other’s company, including at a Rihanna concert in 2016.
Gardaí previously described him in court as a member of this organized crime group in the Finglas area when he applied to have €30,000 seized from Whelan. However, in recent years he has separated from the criminal gang and got involved with a rival group.
The 2018 hearing also proved he had 57 prior convictions, mostly for traffic offenses but also two for simple drug possession in 2015 and two for auto theft.
The feud has seen a series of attacks, with gardaí now fearing more bloodshed in the wake of the murder.
There has also been insults and threats on social media, with Whelan regularly being attacked online by competitors.
A picture of Whelan was posted to an anonymous TikTok account following yesterday’s gun slaying along with the caption “Go to sleep James” along with laughing emojis, skulls and a coffin.
The feud in the area has been smoldering for several months, with Gardaí attempting to crack down on both gangs.
In February, Gardaí seized a property used by Mr Flashy’s gang as their headquarters.
During raids where local officers were assisted by members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), detectives also seized two “heavy duty” firearms, more than 47,000 euros in cash and 300 rounds of ammunition.
The dispute is believed to have escalated when quality watches were stolen from a close teenage associate of Mr Flashy.
The perpetrator was later severely beaten and footage of the attack was uploaded to social media.
Fianna Fáil local councilor Keith Connolly said Sunday’s killing was “further bad news for Finglas” and put the area “back in a bad spotlight”.
“I think it’s really important that the Garda Commissioner and the Attorney General allocate the right resources to deal with this type of crime-related shooting. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time it’s happened.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/violent-reprisals-feared-after-countrys-first-suspected-gangland-murder-in-over-a-year-41517482.html Violent reprisals feared after the country’s first suspected gang killing in over a year