Associate of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch shot dead as he sat in car
GARDAI are investigating after a man in his 50s was shot dead this evening.
The incident happened in Ratoath, Co Meath at approximately 7.45pm.
It is understood that the man was in a car when he was shot, and that he died at the scene.
It is understood he was shot several times.
Two cars - a BMW and a Saab - were found burned out a short distance away in the Cairn Court estate.
The man was a well-known criminal, and had in recent years been heavily involved in cigarette smuggling.
In 2002 he handed over the keys of a €4m business premises in Dublin to the Criminal Assets Bureau.
He had also been hit with a multi million euro tax demand by the Criminal Asset Bureau after a three-year probe.
The man was an associate of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.
It is understood he had been living in Ratoath with his family for more than a decade.
It is not yet known if the shooting has any connection to the ongoing gangland feud between the Hutch and Kinahan criminal groupings which claimed two lives in Dublin earlier this year.
Gardai had previously established that the 57-year-old had properties in Spain and split his time between his base there and home in Co Meath.
He recently conducted an interview with the Sunday World where he claimed that a well-known criminal had attempted to extort cash from him.
During that same chat he denied having any involvement in a gangland shooting in the capital.
Gardai and paramedics remain at the scene in Meath tonight.
"Gardai can confirm that a male in his 50s has been pronounced dead at the scene of tonights shooting in Ratoath," a garda spokesman said.
"The scene has been preserved for a technical examination by the Garda Technical Bureau and Dr. Michael Curtis from the State Pathologists Office has attended the scene. The body remains at the scene.
"A post mortem is scheduled to take place tomorrow at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.
"Anyone who was in and around The Old Mill housing estate in Ratoath, or the Fairyhouse Road this evening and who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious, is asked to contact Ashbourne Garda Station on 01-8010600, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station."
Forensic investigators have arrived at the scene and are examining the car.
Gardai are conducting door-to-door enquiries in what locals describe as a quiet estate.
Cllr Damien O'Reilly, a Fianna Fail councillor in the Ratoath Municipal District, said: "The whole community is very shocked by this murder. We are shocked that inner city gangland violence appears to have spread to this suburban area of County Meath.
"It's appalling that a life has been taken in this way in Ratoath.
"This is an extremely quiet village with a well-settled community which has the second-highest proportion in Ireland of professional people living here. It's terrible. The shooting took place in an estate which has a large amount of children," he said.
Fine Gael Councillor Gerry O'Connor said "My thoughts tonight are with the family of the poor unfortunate person who has been shot dead. There is enough killing going on in the world without it happening on our own doorsteps.
"No one deserves to have their life ended like that."
"The people of Ratoath, Dunshaughlin and Ashbourne will be very saddened and shocked by this killing. There is no history of serious crime in this area and what has happened is totally out of the ordinary," he said.
Earlier this week, a BBC documentary claimed that the Kinahan and Hutch gangs are currently in negotiations
A source within the Kinahan group told the Spotlight programme that “negotiations are currently in process between the two rival factions.”
Gardaí believe close associates of slain gangster Gary Hutch, who was murdered in Spain last September, were behind the brutal Regency Hotel shootings in which David Byrne was murdered.
The Kinahan cartel hit back and murdered innocent taxi driver Eddie Hutch, the brother of 'The Monk'.