Sky News understands the attack in County Meath is linked to a feud between two gangs which has already claimed three lives.
A man has been shot dead in a gangland-style attack north of Dublin.
The 55-year-old was sitting in a car in The Old Mill housing estate in Ratoath, County Meath, when he came under attack.
Sky News understands the victim was a close friend of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who heads one of two gangs engaged in an underworld feud.
The turf war between them has already claimed three lives and police had feared it could escalate.
Officers have been on high alert since an audacious gun attack at Dublin’s Regency Hotel last month, during the weigh-in for a boxing match.
A five-man gang, three of them dressed as members of a police SWAT team, burst into the hotel and opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles – killing one man and injuring others.
Gerry Hutch and Christy Kinahan, an Irish drugs baron, used to be associates but younger members of their families have fallen out.
Hutch is suspected of masterminding the two biggest armed robberies in the history of the Irish state.
Kinahan, now based on the Costa del Sol, has drug and gun convictions in Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Gerry Hutch has blamed Kinahan for the murder of his nephew, Gary Hutch, who was shot dead in Spain.
The shooting at the weigh-in was retaliation – and the victim, David Byrne, was a close friend of the Kinahans.
Eddie Hutch, the brother of Gerry and uncle of the first victim, was the third to die in the cycle of tit-for-tat killing.
Police investigating the shooting in Ratoath have appealed for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious to contact them.
Source: Sky News