A dad out to avenge the savage killing of his son was in pursuit of a notorious gangland hitman when police swooped and arrested him, a court heard.
Stephen Little – whose 22-year-old son Sean was killed in a gangland gun attack – admitted to officers: “Had you given me another hour I would have killed the b*****d that killed him.”
At the Special Criminal Court, the 47-year-old, of Kilbarron Avenue, Kilmore, in Dublin, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a semi-automatic pistol at Lein Park, Harmonstown, on September 14 last year.
Co-accused Edward McDonnell, 56, of New Ross, Co Wexford, has already admitted the same offence, Dublin Live reports.
It’s understood they carried out surveillance on a notorious assassin suspected of other murder bids in gangland feuds after the attack in North Dublin in May last year.
He was gunned down outside the house in Coolock, North Dublin, in broad daylight as he called to the door.
Little was shot dead because he was owed €200,000 (£181,000) in drug money by the notorious “Gucci mob” that chose to settle the debt with murder instead.
Yesterday, the court heard details of how his father was plotting revenge.
Det Insp Conor O’Murchu revealed a surveillance operation was put in place in Coolock on September 11, 2019 and Little was seen driving a Toyota Avensis.
On the following day police began observing a a blue Audi parked on Lein Park.
Det Garda Jonathan O’Leary found a loaded handgun under the passenger’s seat, a petrol can and plastic gloves.
The surveillance op continued into September 14 as well as around the Pearse House flat complex in the south inner city.
Little was spotted driving the Toyota Avensis at Hanover Street East in the city at 3pm that day.
McDonnell walked towards the K block in Pearse House before the pair left the area and Little drove back to Lein Park.
Officers swooped when McDonnell got into the Audi.
He was pulled from the driver’s seat and a number of items fell from his lap including two balaclavas, two baseball caps and two pairs of gloves.
A red petrol can and a tracksuit were also found in the Audi, while the gun was recovered from under the passenger seat with its serial number filed off.
Under cross-examination, Det Insp O’Murchu agreed Little was not going to pull the trigger in any revenge shooting.
Both men were remanded in custody until August 31 for sentencing.