SMOKED; Gangster Pose... Cullen with the he Paul Cullen enjoys a cig with pals at the Dublin pub where 2 days later he was.. EXCLUSIVE.
THIS is the chilling last picture of criminal Paul Cullen outside the pub where he was assassinated.
Our exclusive image, taken just days before his death, shows the thug outside the Cabra House Pub in North Dublin where he was shot six times by a masked gunman last weekend.
Convicted drug dealer Cullen, who was a close associate of slain gangland boss Eamon Dunne, died at the scene despite frantic efforts by paramedics to save his life.
Our snap shows Cullen enjoying a cigarette outside the pub chillingly unaware that this would be the scene of his own cold-blooded murder just a few days later.
A source last night said that the motive for Cullen's assassination is not yet known, however it's understood he had plenty of enemies and had been warned that someone was targeting him.
The source said: "Cullen was a dead man walking. He had crossed a lot of other criminals since his release from prison last summer.
"It's understood he was trying to muscle in on other dealers' turf and they weren't too happy about it."
The source added that Cullen was a force to be reckoned with and was known for his short temper.
"He was an animal himself and was known to have a very short fuse.
"He had attacked a garda and prison officer in previous years. He had no respect for authority whatsoever."
Other pictures of Cullen posted on a social networking site show him enjoying drinks with mates and family days out. It was not the first time Cullen's life was in danger.
Last July a gunman tried to shoot him as he approached a house in Cabra, but the weapon jammed and the drug dealer was able to escape.
He was given a Garda Information Message (GIM) warning him that detectives had information to suggest his life was in danger.
The motive for the pub shooting remains unknown, but it has all the hallmarks of a gangland killing and could be connected to a drug debt. Cullen, who lived at Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, had at least 12 previous convictions and had served jail sentences for drug dealing and assault.
He was locked up in February 2008 for six years for storing almost [euro]56,000 of cannabis resin to clear drug debts.
At the time he claimed he was holding the drugs for a dealer as he feared for his life after receiving a bullet in the post.
While awaiting sentencing for the drugs possession, Cullen along with his cousin, Carl, were arrested for assaulting a female garda.
He was given a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended for the violent attack on Gda Amanda Lynch on November 30, 2007.
Cullen took her weapon and kicked her in the stomach while his cousin hit her on the head as she was attempting to arrest another youth.
A prison source also revealed that Cullen attacked a prison officer while he was in jail.
He said the warder was in a "bad way" after being whacked on the head by the drug dealer. The officer had to be treated in hospital following the attack.
++DRUG DEALER SLAIN++
Target... drug dealer Paul Cullen, seen here with friends and family, was a marked man