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GET OUT; Gang evicted from their 'base' 24 hours after triple shooting.

Byline: By Mark McGivern

CRIME clan boss Eddie Lyons was booted out of a community centre yesterday, hours after his son was gunned down.

Police and council officers raided the notorious Chirnsyde Community Initiative and seized the building's keys from Lyons, 48.

As they closed the doors of the centre -branded a breeding ground for villains - delighted locals clapped and cheered.

Lyons had turned up for work at the north Glasgow centre yesterday despite his son Stephen, 26, lying critically ill in hospital.

He was shot in a gangland hit which killed his cousin Michael, 21, at a garage on Balmore Road, Lambhill, Glasgow, on Wednesday afternoon.

Feared crime enforcer Robert Pickett, 41 - a notorious Paisley hoodlum jailed for 12 years in 1996 for his part in the Ferguslie Security firm wars - was also badly injured.

Lyons had clung on to his pounds 19,000-ayear job as co-ordinator at the Glasgow council-funded centre despite years of protests that his activities and feud with the rival Daniel crime clan were putting local people at risk.

Yesterday, his opponents showed their joy at finally being rid of him after eight vans, including a police riot vehicle, screamed through the centre gates to shut the centre down.

After being forced to hand over the keys, Lyons jumped into the centre's van and sped off, driving down a flight of stairs and across wasteland in his getaway.

The closure came after five years of protests and investigations into Lyons by Glasgow City Council. One onlooker said: "This is what we've been fighting for.

"People in this area predicted people would die in a gang war involving the Lyons family and they were right.

"Anyone who used Chirnsyde was at risk and families in the area were so sick of it.

"We're glad that the centre has been closed but it shouldn't have taken so long for the authorities to see sense."

Glasgow council revealed last night that steps had been taken to close and secure the Chirnsyde building "as a precautionary measure" and remove funding from the initiative.

The initiative was to be awarded pounds 80,000 over the financial year to April 2007, and had received pounds 40,000 so far.

A council insider said: "The matter is yet to be discussed but it is a fait accompli. Eddie Lyons will not be granted a penny from Glasgow City Council again."

Local councillor Billy McAllister, who has crusaded against the Lyons and Daniel families' crime empires, welcomed the closure.

He said: "I hope to see a new management team in at Chirnsyde as soon as possible.

"This angers me to some extent as it is six years too late. What happened on Wednesday just confirmed what we have been talking about for years.

"The council was fully aware of this man's status as a gangster."

Wednesday's shooting marked the escalation of the Daniel-Lyons feud, which is understood to have been sparked by a vandal attack on the grave of Garry Lyons, who died from leukaemia in 1991 when he was just eight years old.

Last month, the Daniel gang - led by millionaire Jamie Daniel, 49 - were blamed for a gun attack on Lyons gang members in Bellshill, Lanarkshire. Eight days later, Daniel family associates were shot in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow.

Yesterday's raid came just hours after Chief Superintendent David Martin, boss of the Maryhill police division, said there was no reason to shut down the centre.

He said: "There is nothing at this moment in time to suggest Chirnsyde Community Initiative and children that frequent it are at risk."

But he added an immediate risk assessment was being carried out. Police have refused to confirm Wednesday's shootings were part of a turf war.

But Detective Superintendent Campbell Corrigan, who is leading the murder hunt, admitted he was aware of a background of gang violence in the area.

Investigators are seeking two men in dark clothing who travelled to and from the murder scene in a light blue vehicle.

Glasgow Maryhill MSP Patricia Ferguson backed police appeals for information on the incident.

She said: "I've passed on intelligence that I've been given to police over a long number of years.

"But the police then have to turn that into hard evidence and one of the problems has been is that no one was willing to actually stand up that evidence.

"I would appeal to anyone who knows anything at all about this shooting to pass even the smallest piece of information on to police so the perpetrators can be brought to justice as speedily as possible."

'Anyone using Chirnsyde was at risk. Families were sick of it'

CAPTION(S):

GUN VICTIMS: Michael Lyons, left, was killed while Stephen Lyons and Robert Pickett were injured' EVICTED: Eddie Lyons leaves 'gang HQ' yesterday' SHOT: Stephen Lyons, top, and gang enforcer Robert Pickett, above, were badly hurt. Michael Lyons, middle, died' SHUT DOWN: Lyons, looking troubled, right, is forced to hand over the keys to a council offial, main image
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 8, 2006
Words:833
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