Sunday 25 September 2016

'Cruel, cowardly and callous act'...Funeral of gangland victim Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan takes place amid tight security

Robin Schiller

Published 28/03/2016 | 12:21

Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan

The ERU and armed gardai were on patrol as the funeral of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan took place in Co Meath this morning.

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Hundreds of mourners joined his wife and three children for the mass, which was held amid tight security in light of the ongoing feud between the Kinahan cartel and associates of the late Gary Hutch.

Duggan (58), who was a close associate of Gary's uncle Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, is believed to be the fourth victim of the feud.

He was shot dead on Wednesday of last week.

Armed gardai were seen patrolling the area close to where the funeral took place this morning.

Gardai maintained a visible presence as gangland victim Noel ‘Kingsize’ Duggan was laid to rest today.

His grieving family embraced outside the Holy Trinity Church in Ratoath, Co Meath, as they were joined by hundreds of mourners for his funeral.

Priest

Speaking at the funeral Fr Brendan Ludlow described the murder as a "cruel, cowardly and callous act".

A number of uniformed and plain-clothes gardai were present amid tight security for the mass.

The coffin of Duggan arrived at the church shortly before 11am, accompanied by floral tributes spelling ‘Grandad’ and ‘Da’.

It’s believed Duggan was murdered as part of the deadly feud between members of the Kinahan Cartel and associates of Gary Hutch, the late nephew of Gerry Hutch, who was murdered in Spain last September.

However, this morning’s garda presence was mild in comparison to the operations that took place around the funerals of Eddie Hutch Snr (59) and Kinahan associate David Byrne (34) in the capital last month.

Read More: Garda operation in place ahead of funeral of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan

Friends and family of the deceased, including his distraught wife Belinda and his three children, Garreth, Daniel and Nicola, were among the large crowd of mourners this morning.

Duggan, nicknamed ‘Kingsize’ because of his history in cigarette smuggling, was shot dead as he sat inside his car at his home in Ratoath on Wednesday of last week.

Family

Speaking to the Herald ahead of the mass, a close relative of the father-of-three said the family were living in fear and called for no retaliation.

“Since this shooting, his family are terrified that they will become targets as well but they want to make it clear that they want no revenge for this.”

The relative also explained that Duggan had been in such fear of his life as a result of the feud that he did not attend the funeral of Eddie Hutch Snr, the older brother of Gerry Hutch.

“He did not go to Gerard’s brother’s funeral because he did not want any attention on himself that could have led to what has happened.

“No one in the family has slept since this happened,” they added.

Duggan, who was considered a “soft target” like Eddie Hutch, is the fourth victim of the murderous feud between the Kinahan cartel and the Hutch mob and the third close associate of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch to be shot dead.

Smuggler

A criminal who made his fortune from cigarette smuggling, gardai said Duggan was never an active participant in armed robberies or drug dealing activities.

Read More: Shrewd criminal who made millions - but never got his own hands dirty

It is believed Duggan had been spending time in the UK in light of recent events, and had only just returned to Ireland when he was murdered.

His murder comes a month after the shooting dead of Eddie Hutch Snr and David Byrne.

Taxi driver Eddie Hutch was shot dead at his home in Poplar Row, Ballybough, in Dublin’s north inner city on Monday, February 8th.

His killing was a direct retaliatory attack for the Regency Hotel assassination of David Byrne which occurred three days earlier.

A six-man hit team stormed the popular North Dublin hotel and killing Byrne and injuring two of his associates Sean McGovern (30) and Aaron Bugler (25).

The feud was sparked by the death of Gary Hutch (34), a former associate of the Kinahan who was shot dead in Spain by his former friends last September.

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