Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Crumlin/Drimnagh feud the Freddie Thompson gang or his sworn enemies, the Rastas.

Crumlin/Drimnagh feud the Freddie Thompson gang or his sworn enemies, the Rastas.
One of the most amazing facts of all about this urban feud is that it was sparked by the vandalism of a bicycle. Detectives believe a number of factors have led to the birth of this feud. "Some time in 1998 a dispute arose between various members over drugs and money causing a vicious split," said a well-placed source.
"Different members of both sides were assaulted and a series of tit-for-tat assaults, criminal damage to cars and vehicles belonging to them followed.
"Friends, relatives and associates from other areas such as Freddie Thompson and Paddy Doyle were brought into the dispute," said the source.
Gardai credit the burning of a bike belonging to one of Freddie's pals as the turning point in the neighbourhood squabble and the start of the decade-long warring. The bike belonging to the associate of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson was burned outside the gang member's home. The attack was blamed on a member of the Rastas, led by members of a local criminal family. The simple burning of the bike was a catalyst for a bloody war. In retaliation for the damage to the bike an attempt was made to petrol bomb the suspected culprit's house -- even though there was nothing whatsoever to associate him with the incident.
Shortly afterwards that Thompson associate was targeted again, almost certainly by the Rastas -- but this time it was his innocent mother's car that was attacked. The car was 'nitromorsed' -- in other words, burnt with acid. The combined incidents set the two gangs on a downward spiral of murder and mayhem. The gloves were well and truly off. From this inauspicious start, two gangs -- one lead by 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and his buddy Paddy Doyle (since murdered in Spain), and a rival and equally dangerous group of hoods led by another Drimnagh man known as the Rastas -- would war for position and power. Thompson's main rival in the Rastas cannot currently be named for legal reasons. Not long after the infamous bike burning incident the violence escalated and moved onto a much more dangerous level.
On March 4, 1999, shots were fired through the front window of a home on Kilworth Road in Crumlin by members of the Thompson gang. No one was injured in the shooting but the gunman shouted his name to neighbours, claiming responsibility for the incident. Nine days later the house was again targeted, and gardai believe it was the same gunman. Soon afterwards members of the Thompson gang were arrested and interviewed but no charges were ever brought due to lack of evidence. The gangs were flexing their muscles and testing each other's patience.
By April 2001 the war between the two gangs spilled over onto the streets, into pubs and outside city nightclubs. A resident in Lucan reported gunshots on his home following an altercation with a Thompson gang member in a Dublin nightclub some weeks earlier. On April 8, 2001, a gunman fired three shotgun blasts through the front door and window of the Lucan house at 3.40am. The resident told gardai he had been in a fight in a nightclub two weeks before with members of Freddie's gang, which may have made him a target. The shooting had all the hallmarks of a professional gangland attack. In a possible retaliation strike, the home of a Thompson gang member was attacked in a drive-by shooting incident on June 5, 2001.
Later that summer the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud was to claim the first of its 13 victims. Yet the feud was far from over. A family gathering between members of the Rastas ended up in a bloody brawl in February 2002 when "words were exchanged" between the gang members and associates of their rivals. One man was so badly assaulted during the attack that followed that he received 80 stitches to his head.
A revolver was also produced during the incident, which occurred just yards from the mobster's aunt's home on Basin Street in Dublin 8. Not to be outdone, a revenge attack was ordered. On June 13, 2002, two men kicked down the door of a house at Park Terrace, Dublin 8. There were five people in the house at the time of the incident and two of them received gunshot wounds. Three men from the Thompson side of the gang were arrested and questioned about this incident. Five days later two gun attacks in the space of four hours led to the beginning of a new level and intensity of violence for both gangs. As members of the Thompson gang sat celebrating St Patrick's Day in Judge Darley's Pub, outside their rivals were plotting some celebrations of their own. At 1am, members of the opposite gang were busy orchestrating a drive-by shooting of the inner city pub. Although no one was injured in the attack, gang members inside the Parkgate Street pub quickly sobered up in time to formulate a revenge plan. Just three hours later, at 4am, the house of a key 'Rasta' gang member was taken by storm and with devastating consequences.
The house at Cooley Road in Crumlin was showered in a hail of bullets when at least four men shot their way into the house and a man was shot in the stomach.
It was now just three years into the south Dublin dispute and already there had been one murder, six firearms incidents, two people shot and a series of assaults.
But the worst was yet to come. And if the worst is still yet to come, are we staring into the ugly and scarred face of urban gang warfare more often associated with Mexico, Los Angeles and South Africa?


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