Tensions continue to escalate after killings
A feud between two inner city families threatens to escalate further following the killing of Gerard Byrne at the IFSC complex in the north inner city of Dublin on 14 December. By Frank Connolly.
Gerard Byrne was shot several times in the head by a gunman using what is reported to have been a powerful machine pistol.
According to both local and Garda sources, Byrne was shot as a result of a long-running feud between two families originally from the Sheriff Street area.
Although he was not directly related to either family, Byrne had taken the side of a young woman who claims that she was sexually assaulted several years ago by a member of one of the families.
Two weeks before his killing, a grenade was thrown into the home of a man in north Dublin who allegedly assaulted the young woman when she was 12 years old. The woman, 19, was supported in her efforts to expose the sexual assault by Gerard Byrne as well as by members of her own family.
“Gerard Byrne was well-known and from a well-known family in the Sheriff Street area. This attack is going to lead to a response and there will inevitably be more blood on the streets,” said one informed source.
The Garda has also stepped up its armed patrols in the Finglas area following the killings of Martin Hyland, 39, and Anthony Campbell, 20, on 12 December. Hyland was buried on Tuesday, 19 December after a funeral attended by hundreds of people in Cabra. Campbell, (pictured below), an uninvolved plumber working in the house where Hyland was attacked, was buried on 20 December. Hundreds of mourners also turned up for his removal and funeral.
Sources close to Hyland insist that he was not the major drug dealer in Dublin, as claimed by some media outlets.
According to informed sources, Hyland's death may be linked to the shooting of Geoffrey Finnegan in Finglas some weeks ago. Finnegan, who was questioned about the killing of Donna Cleary in Coolock earlier this year, was shot several times in the neck and chest.
He is recovering in Beaumont hospital from his wounds.
Donna Cleary, 22, was killed after shots were fired indiscriminately into a house in Coolock where she was attending a party on 5 March.
Dwayne Foster who was arrested after her murder died in Garda custody. Geoffrey Finnegan was arrested but was released from custody after the Garda was refused an extension of his time in custody.
A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the matter, according to legal sources.