Tuesday 26 September 2017

Gardaí fearing a graveside attack on first anniversary of feud victim's murder

The grave of David Byrne at Mount Jerome cemetery
The grave of David Byrne at Mount Jerome cemetery
The grave of David Byrne in Mount Jerome Cemetery

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Security sweeps will be carried out at the grave of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne, over fears of a revenge attack at his graveside.

This Sunday marks the first anniversary of the “spectacular” murder, which saw a five-man hit team armed with handguns and assault rifles storm the north Dublin hotel.

The feud has left 11 people dead, including two innocent men, who were murdered in a case of mistaken identity.

Gardai are fearful that an attack could be planned by either faction involved in the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud, with a security assessment in south Dublin currently at a “very-high” level.

Tense

Gardai will carry out security sweeps involving sniffer dogs over the weekend at Mount Jerome Cemetery to ensure that mourners at the grave will not be targeted.

David Byrne
David Byrne

“Gardai have received intelligence that the Hutch gang could attempt an attack on the anniversary of David Byrne’s murder,” a senior source told Independent.ie.

“This stems from the fact that his family and close associates will be gathered at the grave for a ceremony this weekend.

“The fear is that the rival mob will use this occasion to carry out an attack.”

The source added that officers are monitoring the issue and that the situation remains “very tense”.

Daniel and Christy Kinahan Jnr are not expected to travel back to Dublin for the anniversary because of fears the Hutch gang may target them.

Gardai will also carry out covert operations over the weekend to prevent any attacks.

It can also be revealed that earlier this week a plaque was placed at the grave of David Byrne (33) ahead of the one-year anniversary.

The plaque was placed on the grave earlier this week.Kinahan cartel associate Byrne was shot dead as he attempted to flee the Regency Hotel during a boxing weigh-in on February 5 last year.

A five-man hit team, including members of the Hutch gang, stormed the premises in a “spectacular” shooting, which left one man dead and two others seriously injured.

Sean McGovern (30) and Aaron Bugler (25) received gunshot wounds.

The main target of the attack was Daniel Kinahan (39), who was present in his role as a boxing manager and promoter for the weigh-in.

However, the gangland criminal left the function room where the event was taking place to take a phone call just moments before the hit team struck.

One eyewitness to the chaotic scenes told Independent.ie: “The three men ran out. I’m standing beside the van. They shouted “he’s not f**king in there, go go, f**king go”.

Other Kinahan cartel members in the hotel at the time included Liam Byrne, Liam Roe and a number of younger associates.

Gardai investigating the Regency Hotel shooting have arrested several people and are looking to question Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch in relation to the killing.

The hotel murder was carried out in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Gary Hutch (34), who was gunned down at an apartment complex inMira de Flores Spain in September 2015.

Illicit

Since the feud erupted, gardai say they have seized 456 firearms as well as €64m of illicit drugs from organised crime gangs.

Speaking this week, Detective Superintendent Tony Howard, of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, said that the feud was between “lifelong friends”, which makes it more difficult to police.

“The feud had become very personalised and it has split down along two families,” he said. “It makes that feud all the more difficult to tackle when you are actually family-on-family. Communities have been torn apart.”

Herald

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