The victim of last night's shooting in Dublin was targeted in a planned gun attack, gardaí have said.

They believe the attack is linked to one of a number of ongoing feuds and escalating gun and drug violence in northwest Dublin.

Lee Boylan, from Fortlawn Avenue in Clonsilla, was shot three times in the neck and body and is in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital.

Gardaí say a drugs motive is a strong line of inquiry and have moved to reassure people in the area that they are implementing measures to tackle the increase in gun crime.

Mr Boylan was sitting in his van in traffic on the Blakestown Road at 5pm yesterday when a gunman ran up and shot him.

He was taken to Connolly Hospital but has since been transferred to Beaumont Hospital.

Gardaí believe the gunman got out of a black/grey BMW and fled the scene on foot after the attack towards Huntstown Lawn.

The gunman is described as being around 1.82m (6ft) tall and was wearing a bulky knee-length parka jacket, a black baseball cap with a white logo and a blue glove on one hand.

The BMW 320 coupe - registration 05 KY 5360 - was later discovered on fire at Saddlers Grove, Mulhuddart and gardaí said the car had recently been bought in the Ronanstown area.

The driver is described as being 1.82m (6ft) tall and aged in his 40s or 50s with grey facial stubble. He was wearing a baseball cap and a hooded top.

A scene at Blakestown Tyres was sealed off for a forensic examination.

Mr Boylan left here in his Volkswagen van before the attack.

Superintendent Liam Carolan appealed for witnesses or anyone with information to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01 666 7000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Three days before Christmas, 34-year-old Eric Fowler was shot dead in Blakestown in what gardaí said was a targeted gang-related attack.

They say there has been an escalation in gun and related crime in the area with feuds ongoing in Corduff and in the greater Finglas/Blancharstown areas.

Superintendent Noel Carolan said multiple firearms had been seized and additional patrols had been put in place to deal with the violence.