These were, according to gardaí, intended to taunt the dead man’s associates and bore chilling similarities to actions that fueled Limerick’s gang feud almost two decades ago.When Kieran Keane (36), a leading Limerick drug dealer, was shot dead in Drombana, Co Limerick on January 29th, 2003, there were similar celebrations staged as part of a feud there that resulted in up to 20 murders.The Limerick feud may be no more, but the dynamics of that decade-long gun violence spree are being repeated in the Drogheda feud, of which Lawlor is the latest victim. Normally he is very shrewd and has been around the block but this time someone set him up. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly. Very few of those involved ever speak to the Garda as it would mean betraying their own families. His re-emergence after a period away was followed by the shooting dead of Keith Branigan at a Co Louth caravan park last August and the shooting dead of Richard Carberry outside his home in Bettystown, Co Meath, last November.Lawlor, who was freed from prison late last year after avoiding conviction on serious charges, was intent on seeking revenge for his brother-in-law’s murder. It is understood the younger members led by the brothers got fed up being dictated to.Lawlor was just freed from prison last December. Gardaí believe Lawlor did this as a chilling message to those who had attacked him.Detectives saw the incident as an example of the petty and personal motivations behind much of the Drogheda feud violence. Moreover, there is some evidence that elements of the McCarthy-Dundon gang who were at the centre of the Limerick violence are now involved in the Drogheda feud.Lawlor was shot dead last Saturday just before noon outside a house in Ardoyne, north Belfast either as part of the Drogheda feud, gardaí believe, or else over a drugs debt owed to him by Belfast criminals; or perhaps a combination of both.The precise motive may take some time to emerge, but his killing will have a very significant impact in the Drogheda feud, just as Keane’s murder had in Limerick almost two decades ago. They weren’t hurt and police believe he was set up.On Saturday night four men including a teenager were being quizzed by PSNI detectives in relation to the shooting, which was carried out just before midday.A source said: “The brothers are terrified they will be kidnapped and chopped up too. One of the gang’s members and his 17-year-old relative, as well as their associate from outside the jurisdiction, travelled to Belfast with Lawlor, apparently to enforce a significant drugs debt in Ardoyne, last Saturday. Other figures on that side are also expected to be jailed for some of the early feud attacks, a situation that would clear the way for the opposing gang to attack their rivals at will, as the McCarthy-Dundons did for so long in Limerick.Dissident republicans supplied firearms to the gangs involved in the violence in Limerick, and gangland criminals from Dublin and the UK were hired by the McCarthy-Dundons to carry out murders. The videos that emerged last weekend of different people celebrating Lawlor’s murder were, according to gardaí, intended to taunt his associates and it is feared they will beget more shootings.The violence in Limerick was locked into the same pattern: perceived slights against a members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang or their family members often resulting in a brutal attacks.
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