Sixteen people have now been murdered – either directly or indirectly – as part of the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud with the average age of the victims being just 23. Declan Gavin was the first victim when he was stabbed to death outside a fast food restaurant at the Crumlin Shopping Centre in August 2001. Brian Rattigan was last week found guilty of his murder.
Rattigan's brother, 18-year-old Joseph Rattigan, was the next to die, shot dead close to his home on Cooley Road in Drimnagh in July 2002. Paul Watten (23), who made the phone call luring Rattigan to his death, was shot dead in a retaliatory attack in a pub in Newmarket Square, Dublin 8 in February 2004. The next to die was 24-year-old John Roche who was shot dead outside his apartment in Kilmainham in March 2005.
Drug dealer Terry Dunleavy was murdered in April 2005 in Dublin's north inner city because he owed the Thompson gang money while two leading members of the Thompson gang, Darren Geoghegan and Gavin Byrne, were killed by their own gang in November 2005 in Firhouse. The day after that double murder Noel Roche was shot dead on the Clontarf Road after he left a Phil Collins concert in the Point Theatre. He was a close friend of Brian Rattigan and brother of John Roche, who was shot dead as part of the feud the year before. Suspected informer Wayne Zambra was shot dead on Cameron Street in the south inner city in August 2006 by the Rattigan gang, while Gary Bryan – who was suspected of murdering both Paul Warren and Wayne Zambra – was shot dead in Walkinstown in September 2006.
In December 2006, Eddie McCabe, a 21-year-old petty car thief, was tortured and dumped in a laneway in Inchicore. One of his eyes had been gouged out with a sewer rod and he later died from his injuries. He was murdered because he handed in an illegal mobile phone to prison guards while serving a jail sentence in Mountjoy.
In July 2007, 20-year-old Ian Kenny was shot by a close friend in Stillorgan on the orders of Freddie Thompson, who agreed to sanction the killing as a favour to a young criminal who was acting as his driver. Kenny was in a coma until last August when his family turned off his life-support machine.
The feud spread to Spain in February 2008 when Paddy Doyle, the 27-year-old "enforcer" for the Thompson gang, was shot dead by a Turkish drug syndicate over an unpaid debt. He had fled to Spain in November 2005 and is regarded as being the prime suspect for the murders of Darren Geoghegan, Gavin Byrne and Noel Roche over a 36-hour period. In September 2008, Christopher "Git" McDonagh was shot dead at his home in Ronanstown after being blamed for a €2.7m drug shipment that was intercepted by gardaí. In March 2009 Brian Rattigan's sister's partner, Shay O'Byrne, was shot dead outside his home in Tallaght. Sharon Rattigan tackled the gunman and was shot in the leg. In July, 26-year-old Anthony Cannon, who was the "enforcer" for the Rattigan gang, was murdered in an ambush in Ballyfermot.
The murders of O'Byrne and Cannon effectively spelled the end of the Rattigan gang as a serious force.
'Cocaine wars: Fat Freddie Thompson and the Crumlin/Drimnagh Feud', by Mick McCaffrey and published by Merlin, will be on sale in January