Monday 5 December 2016

Family of suspect in three Kinahan/Hutch feud shootings fear he's been murdered

Ken Foy

Published 08/06/2016 | 11:13

Gardai investigating the death of Gareth Hutch
Gardai investigating the death of Gareth Hutch

RELATIVES of a suspect in three of the seven murders in the capital's bloody gangland feud fear he has been murdered himself.

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The 30-year-old New INLA criminal fled the country after the murder of Gareth Hutch (35) last month.

He is being investigated for the murder of Hutch's uncle, Eddie Hutch Snr (59), who was shot dead at his north inner city home on February 8 in revenge for the Regency Hotel bloodbath, and for another feud murder.

"This man's family are worried sick and are fearful that he has been murdered," a source told the Herald.

"They haven't heard a word from him in over a week and that is not like he normally behaves.

"His friends have heard reports that he was ordered back to Ireland from the UK after the murder of Gareth Hutch and that he may have been murdered by the New IRA or even the Kinahan cartel, who he had been working for.

Murder victim Eddie Hutch Snr
Murder victim Eddie Hutch Snr

"Of big concern is that he is not thought to have much money, so his friends are wondering, if he is alive, how he'd able to pay for things.

"It's very unusual for him not to be in touch."

He previously served a lengthy sentence for explosives offences, and in recent months was part of a gang involved in extortion, criminal debt collection and drug-dealing.

However, the outfit is known also to be involved in a number of legitimate businesses.

This gang's links to the Kinahan cartel have only clearly emerged in the past three weeks.

The triple-murder suspect fled to Britain in the aftermath of Gareth Hutch being shot dead outside his home on May 24.

Gardai have no intelligence that the suspect has himself been murdered, and detectives believe he may still be hiding out in Scotland.

Gardai have had major successes against the New INLA gang in recent weeks, with one of its most senior members now in jail after being charged with offences not linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

In April, the Herald revealed that the new gang - who were involved in a crime summit at the Regency Hotel - fled the area in a hurry after they were spooked by a garda surveillance team.

Sources said the gang are believed to have been behind two murder attempts last year on Limerick criminal Sean 'Cowboy' Hanley.

One of the gang's senior members is suspected of having been involved in a pipe bomb intimidation incident targeting Dublin drug dealer Charlie 'The Walrus' O'Neill before the 53-year-old died of natural causes last August.

Investigations into the mob were stepped up after a viable bomb and a pistol were seized and a Latvian man was arrested after armed gardai pulled over a vehicle near Mountrath, Co Laois, last February 25 in an incident that led to the closure of the M7 motorway for a number of hours.

threats

Gardai said the murder at the weekend of Neil Fitzgerald (36) was not linked to the wider feud, which has claimed seven lives to date.

Fitzgerald, who was a key lieutenant of the Brian Rattigan gang, was shot dead in a remote location in Tallaght.

His body was found by a passer-by on Sunday morning in the Hills Lane area of the Dublin suburb.

Fitzgerald was involved last Wednesday in a violent incident with a young man that led to associates of feared gangsters Graham 'The Wig' Whelan and 'Fat' Freddie Thompson becoming involved.

It has been claimed that Fitzgerald had issued threats against the rival criminals.

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