Shocking daylight killing is the fifth gangland murder this year
Published 14/04/2016 | 22:26
The callous murder of homeless Martin O'Rourke (24) in a suspected case of mistaken identity is the latest bloody chapter in a violent feud that shows no sign of slowing down.
Mr O'Rourke, who was living at a homeless shelter, was shot dead as he went to buy drugs on Sheriff Street in Dublin's North Inner City.
His death is the fifth gangland killing in 2016 and the fifth with a direct connection to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
The feud's first victim was Gary Hutch (34). A nephew of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, Gary Hutch was lured to a meeting with former associates in Marbella, Spain last September.
Instead he was met by a masked assassin who shot him twice in the chest and once in the head.
His death sparked a major outrage and directly led to the Regency Hotel bloodbath in on February 5 last. In this incident mobsters, disguised as gardai and carrying AK47s, burst into the Drumcondra hotel and shot dead David Byrne (34).
The retaliation for Byrne's killing was swift and brutal with taxi driver Eddie Hutch Snr being shot dead at his flat in the North Wall just three days later.
The hit-team who killed Eddie took out their next victim cigarette smuggler Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan (56) just three weeks ago as he sat outside his home in Ratoath, Co Meath.
He was shot dead because of his close personal connection to The Monk.
While gardaí cannot categorically say that this latest murder is linked to the feud sources say it has all the hallmarks of a gangland killing.
The man gardai believe was the target was a close friend of jailed killer Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch. he was accused by rivals of being involved in the Regency Hotel shooting and would have been aware his life was in danger.
Officers are also investigating if two further gun murders are loosely connected to the bloody feud.
Drug dealer Darren Kearns (33) was shot dead in front of his wife after a meal on New Year's eve. Members of the hit-team suspected of carrying out the Hutch and Duggan killings have been connected to Kearns' murder.
Read More: Gun victim was shot for being 'too cocky'
Gardai have also examined the links between the feud and the murder of former Real IRA member Vincent 'Vinnie' Ryan on March 1.
Ryan was a brother of murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan who was himself shot and killed in September 2012.