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The scene of yesterday's shooting.

Intended target of Drogheda shooting identified as feud seeps into north Dublin gangland territory

A taxi driver was shot on Monday evening.

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE shooting of a taxi driver in Drogheda yesterday have identified the intended target of the attack as a man linked to an ongoing feud in the area. 

Additional security protocols are now in place in the Louth town following the shooting, which saw innocent taxi driver John Myles shot in the back as he carried out his work.

Gardaí believe the intended target of the attack was a well-known criminal and one of the major players in the feud which has so far claimed one life. He was seated in the front passenger seat when the gunman fired shots into the grey Skoda Octavia at around 6.20pm on the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda. 

Officers attached to the region are now conducting additional patrols of areas which have seen much of the feud violence. Additional resourcing had been put in place by garda management following the murder of Keith Branigan in August of last year. 

The 29-year-old was shot at a caravan park in Clogherhead. His was the first life claimed in what is now a rapidly escalating feud between rival criminal gangs. 

Non-fatal attacks

Before the fatal shooting of Branigan, Owen Maguire was shot a number of times at a halting site in July 2018, an attack which effectively started the Drogheda feud. He was paralysed as a result of the shooting. His brother was also shot and survived another attack at the start of 2019. There is no suggestion that he had any involvement in criminality.

Policing plans to quell any additional violence are currently being drawn up, according to well-placed sources who said that gardaí in Drogheda are now speaking with colleagues in north Dublin about the spread of the feud into pockets of Balbriggan, Coolock and Darndale. 

As part of their investigation into the shooting of John Myles, gardaí are focusing on threats made between the feuding gangs which have appeared on social media in recent days. 

Both sides are exchanging threats to kill as well as showing off handguns and shotguns. 

Gardaí continue to gather intelligence on the warring gangs. However, detectives tasked with keeping a lid on this violence now believe it has seeped into large pockets of gangland Dublin which are controlled by a notorious gang figure known as Mr Big.

According to security sources, this has the potential to create a much bigger gang war, with one side having a large cache of weapons available to them as a result of the link with Mr Big.  

Speaking to Michael Reade on LMFM this morning, taxi driver John Myles, who gardaí say is the innocent victim of the attack, said that those connected to the feud had no regard to life and that he could have bled to death in the front of his car. 

“I don’t want to know who did it, I don’t care who did it,” he told Reade.

Whether I was dead or alive they didn’t care. I could have bled to death.

“They do what they do because they can’t do an honest day’s work. It’s us that has to suffer.

He said that he wouldn’t be alive if the bullet hadn’t travelled through his back, and criticised people who falsely claimed online that he was involved in an ongoing feud in Drogheda.

In July 2018, a feud began between two gangs in Drogheda which has resulted in several shootings and deaths. Despite an increase in Garda resources, the violence has continued. This episode of The Explainer examines this issue:

The Explainer / SoundCloud

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