TWO brothers shot dead last week in a gangland feud were murdered on the orders of a Ballyfermot drug dealer after they slashed the throat and ear of one of the dealer's closest associates last April, it is understood.

The funerals of Ken Corbally (32) and his brother Paul (35) took place at St Michael's church in Ballyfermot yesterday. The brothers were the second and third victims of the Ballyfermot feud. They attacked a senior member of the Ballyfermot drug dealer's gang; the man barely survived when the brothers slashed his throat and ear.

"They effectively signed their own death warrants when they did that. They knew their lives were in danger," said a source.

The Corbally brothers attacked the man in retaliation for the murder of British criminal Jason Lee Martin (39) with whom they were aligned. He was stabbed to death in a 20-man brawl outside a pub in Dublin last September over a drugs dispute.

Over 20 people have been arrested over the fatal stabbing, including a League of Ireland soccer player.