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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Gangs recruit for battle after shooting

SCENE: Blood is visible on the walls of Gary Lee’s home as garda technicians carry out a search after the attack
MOTORCYCLE gang wars will break out in Ireland following a shooting in Wicklow, gardai fear.
The brutal gangs who operate under a Mafia-like code of 'omerta' are set to do battle over territory.
Garda sources say the gangs are recruiting new members at a high rate in preparation for a brutal battle between rival outfits.
Despite heavy involvement in criminality, they have operated largely under the radar until this week when a member of the Celtic Demons motorcycle club, Gary Lee (32), was beaten and shot in a horrific attack in Wicklow.
Today, the Sunday World lifts the lid on the violent subculture and reveals how the notorious Hells Angels are preparing to take over from an Irish group known as the Alliance.
MOTORCYCLE gang wars are set to break out in Ireland following a shooting incident in Wicklow on Wednesday.
Gary Lee (32) is recovering in hospital following a brutal beating and shooting incident at his home in Rathduff Mor, near Knockannaa on the Carlow-Wicklow border.
Gardai believe there will be further incidents involving biker gangs over the coming months.
It is understood they told him he had no right to wear three patches on his jackets which designate him as part of a motorcycle club.
The patches are an integral part of motorcycle club culture and any club which is not approved by the motorcycle gang world is heavily frowned upon.
The men beat Mr Lee with baseball bats and tore the patches off his jacket before shooting him in the arm. The gang also placed a pipe bomb in Mr Lee's home.
The improvised device was only discovered by gardai in the man's hot press during followup searches on Friday.
Mr Lee, a kitchen fitter originally from Bray, Co.Wicklow, is a member of the newly-formed Celtic Demons motorcycle club.
Continuity IRA figure Billy Clare, also known as Buffalo Bill, has links to the Celtic Demons group. It is understood that other member
of the Celtic Demons are taking extra security precautions following the attack.
Bloods stains were visible on the wall inside the Mr Lee's home - a graphic reminder of the sheer brutality of the horrific incident.
Mr Lee, who had been living in the house for around five years, was described as "a quiet man" by neighbours. The attack has been linked to the Devil Disciple's motorcycle club, which was established in Ireland in 1979.
INVESTIGATION: Gardai investigate attack on Gary Lee
Only certain bikers are allowed wear three patches on their jackets to show they are part of a designated motorcycle club.
There are four motorcycle clubs operating under what is known as the Alliance in Ireland. They are the Devil's Disciples, the Freewheelers, the Road Tramps and the Vikings.
The Alliance was formed in an attempt to prevent international gangs such as the Hells Angels from establishing themselves here.
They have been recruiting at a very high rate in recent times in an attempt to strengthen themselves so they can defend their territory.
Sources say it is inevitable that the Hells Angels will become established in Ireland. The gangs all put MC after their name to distinguish themselves from 'mere' motorcycle enthusiasts.
Members of MCs are known as 'one percenters'. The term was coined after a motorcycle riot in the U.S. in 1947 after which the American Motorcycle Association said 99 per cent of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens, and the last one per cent were outlaws.
The patches on their jackets are extremely important and only fully fledged MCs can wear the patches.
LINKS: Billy Clare, aka Buffalo Bill
"There are three patches," said a source familiar with Irish MCs.
"There's the top rocker, where the name of the gang goes, the middle one, which has a logo, and the bottom rocker, which says where the gang are from. They also have a patch to say MC."
It is understood the Celtic Demons tried to wear bottom rocker patches on their jackets despite not receiving the approval from the Alliance.
Having a bottom rocker is a major issue with MCs.
"If you put the patches on your jacket and got on a motorbike from Dublin city to the airport, there is no way you'd make it to the airport without being stopped.
"All these guys are below the radar. We have a number of gangs operating here.
"They try to build up a lot of social goodwill by taking part in charity work. Then if something happens, they say, 'We just like to ride bikes and look at the charity work we do'.
"Celtic Demons obviously want to be seen in the same light as the others. The question you have to ask is why do they need permission to start a club?"
The source said members of MCs are extremely loyal to each other and take great offence at anyone trying to claim to be a one percenter.
The Devil's Disciples highlights the difference with a prominent motto which reads: "It takes a bike to be a biker. It takes balls to be a brother."
There have been a number of firearms incidents linked to the gangs in recent years.
The source added: "They will die for another one percenter. They're seriously hardcore. The Alliance is here because they are scared of the Hell's Angels coming into Ireland."
The Hells Angels, the most infamous motorcycle gang in the world, have no chapter in the Republic but do have a chapter in the North. At present they are trying to establish themselves in the South. The Hells Angles are well established in the North after taking over from another outfit there in recent years.
They previously established a Hells Angel chapter in the 1970s but were forced out by Loyalist paramilitaries. It was the first time the group were forced to leave an area in their history.
Most members moved to England. But the group returned following the peace process.
There are currently Hells Angels linked to the Belfast chapter based in Dublin and Cork. Sources say they are preparing to move into the south.
The Sunday World can also reveal that a relative of notorious Dublin crime figure Eamon Kelly is a member of the Hells Angels in England. Sources say he moved abroad a number of years ago and is a fully-fledged member of the outlaw gang.
Hells Angel member Gerard Tobin was shot dead on the M40 near London in August 2007. The killing was carried out by a rival outfit known as The Outlaws who have also moved into Ireland in recent years.
The killing has prompted UK police forces to stage a heavy security presence at the annual Bulldog Rally, with many bikers being
stopped and searched for weapons when entering the event.
A source said: "Up to 2000 there were no Outlaws in Ireland but now we have five chapters. The Outlaws would be on a par with the Hells Angels. The Alliance has had a number of run-ins with them. Guns have been produced and shots have been fired."
Potential members known as prospects are currently being recruited by rival Irish gangs in preparation for a turf war.