THE mother of a man murdered in the Crumlin-Drimnagh drugs feud has spoken about how the escalating war impacts on ordinary families.

Part three of TV3's Cocaine Wars – based on the bestselling book by Sunday Tribune security editor Mick McCaffrey – delves further into Dublin's drugs underworld.

In an emotional interview, the mother of Edward McCabe Jnr (21) – believed to have been savagely tortured and murdered by an associate of Brian Rattigan – described her son's death as a "demonic" act of cruelty.

"Edward was tortured very badly and again I still don't understand why this has happened to him… I just did not know any human being could do that," she said.

McCabe Jnr's life collapsed following his father's violent death in 1995. Some years later he was sent to prison for car theft where he encountered the ruthless Rattigan gang.

After confessing to prison guards that he had a banned mobile phone behind bars, McCabe was targeted by the outfit as a message to anyone else willing to reveal the whereabouts of prison contraband.

"I don't know who he met but I believe it brought him down," his mother Linda said.

"He was cut up in prison, cut across his eyes and I think stabbed in the side of his head and stabbed into his back. But he never told me who. He just wasn't that type of lad, you know."

Following his release, McCabe left his girlfriend's house one night, never to return. His horrifically maimed body was discovered by gardaí. A key Rattigan associate has long been the chief suspect.

Recalling the day gardaí broke the horrific news, Linda said: "I just kept holding my ears and screaming 'no, no, no' because I had a complete flashback of my husband.

"And I said, 'what's wrong, is he dead? And they said, 'no he's not dead but he's not good either'."

McCabe's eyes had been gouged from his head and there were 17 fractures to his skull. After he was declared brain dead his family allowed the life support machine to be turned off.

The programme airs on TV3 at 9pm this Tuesday.