Gardaí were preparing to charge a man murdered in Dublin this week with the 2012 murder of Gerard Eglington, it has emerged.

Father-of-three Darragh Nugent (36) was gunned down outside his home on Wheatfield Avenue in Clondalkin on Monday night.

He was suspected of making threats against his local rivals in recent days just over six months after he was arrested by officers on his way to kill a senior member of the rival gang.

Now, Independent.ie has learned that Nugent was suspected of playing a central role in the murder of Eglington (27) who was gunned down at his home in Kilnacourt Woods in Portarlington, Co Laois in September 2012 as his stepdaughter, 11, and three-year-old son looked on.

Nugent was arrested over the killing, which was linked to the Crumlin Drimnagh feud, and gardaí were about to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the case.

A senior source confirmed: "This man was a key suspect in the case and the file was almost concluded on him. Gardaí were confident that he would be charged with the murder."

Independent.ie has learned that detectives found evidence linking Nugent to a car that was seized in the aftermath of the murder.

Gardaí carried out painstaking CCTV analysis which linked the car to the shooting.

"This was a lengthy and detailed investigation."

The Irish Sun is also reporting that Nugent was previously questioned by gardaí over a pipe-bomb attack on the family home of RTE presenter Brian Ormond. The house was attacked in 2011 because Mr Ormond's brother is a serving garda.

The Herald is reporting that Nugent was the best friend of gangland criminal James 'Nellie' Walsh (31), who is serving a 10-year jail sentence for firearms offences linked to a botched hit on major gangland target Michael Frazer in March 2014.

Gardaí have been investigating whether Nugent has been taking orders from Walsh, who embarked on a bitter feud almost four years ago that has now led to three unsolved murders in the Clondalkin area.

The first murder in this deadly feud was that of innocent Dean Johnson (21) in August 2013. Tragic Mr Johnson was not involved in crime and it quickly emerged the intended target of his murder was Clondalkin hood Walsh, who escaped unharmed in the shocking incident.

Walsh, backed up by Monday night's murder victim Nugent, became a player in the west Dublin crime scene around five years ago and ended up getting involved in a bitter dispute with a Clondalkin gang with close links to the Kinahan cartel.

As the dispute intensified, the gang attempted to murder Walsh in the early hours of August 24, 2013 at Harelawn Green in Clondalkin.

Mr Johnson, who had been socialising earlier with the intended target, was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.

Sources revealed this infuriated Walsh, who decided to take revenge on the rival mob.

Within five days, cartel-linked criminal Jason 'Jay' Carroll (39) was shot dead at his home at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin.

Nugent had served a number of jail sentences and was linked to a number of other serious criminals, including Robbie Ellis (25), who was stabbed to death in Clondalkin in November last year in another unsolved murder in the Garda district.

Meanwhile a Gofundme page has been created to help pay for Nugent's funeral. According to a post the page was set up on behalf of "Darragh's loving girlfriend, children and family".

"Most will know how this was a sudden shock for us all, his 3 beautiful children girlfriend & family would like to give him the best send off as they can, any little amount to help towards this cost would be hugely appreciated by them all.

"Let's come together and take a small amount of stress from them. Highly thankfull to anyone who is willing to help this loving family in their time of need... also if anyone has no bank card to donate a book of condolonces will be available any if anyone would like to donate this way just contact us thanks for taking the time to read."

On Wednesday night €75 of the €1,000 goal had been raised.