Hutch and pal in brutal street fight with killer on night before execution
Gardai are investigating whether a close associate of murder victim Gareth Hutch was involved in a row with the INLA thug who is the chief suspect for his killing on the day before the brutal gun slaying.
A 29-year-old north inner city man was still being questioned last night about the feud murder of Gareth Hutch (35) on Tuesday morning, while the INLA criminal is believed to have fled the country.
The Herald has learned that a brutal row involving a knife and baseball bat happened on Monday night just hours before the murder.
It has emerged that murder victim Gareth Hutch got involved in this dispute after the 30-year-old INLA thug threatened a close associate of his with a knife after a verbal altercation in the north inner city.
Hutch is understood to have chased the suspected killer up the road with a baseball bat after he made the knife threats to Hutch’s 24-year-old associate.
Sources revealed that the furious INLA man – who lives just yards from where the murder happened – “made enquiries” as to whether there was a “price on Gareth’s head”.
He was told that the Kinahan cartel would pay him a five-figure sum for murdering father-of-one Hutch.
It is believed that the INLA figure and a north inner city pal took just hours to “hatch the murder plan” and get themselves handguns, which have been described as “very old”, which were then used to murder Hutch at the Avondale House flats complex.
Sources say that Hutch’s murder, which took place at 10am on Tuesday morning in the complex, could easily have been a double killing because Hutch’s 24-year-old associate arrived at the scene just seconds after the shooting happened.
By that time Hutch’s killers had dropped their handguns and were left with no option but to flee the scene without targeting him when their getaway car failed to start.
It later emerged on Tuesday night that gardai across the capital were on high alert when information was received that the 24-year-old was “armed and dangerous” and looking to “seek out” Hutch’s killers.
The Hutch gangster has been hiding out in hotels since then but is expected to attend Gareth’s funeral next week.
Yesterday, the Herald revealed that the terrified suspect – who was still being questioned at Mountjoy Garda Station last night about the Hutch murder – gave himself up because his mother told him to after armed gardai raided their home just hours after the murder. He has been in custody since.
A manhunt is continuing for the 30-year-old member of the ‘New INLA’ who is suspected of being the man who fired multiple fatal shots from a handgun into Hutch. The murder was caught on CCTV. However, it is now believed that the murder suspect – who previously served a lengthy sentence for explosive offences – has fled the country and is thought to be hiding out in the UK.
The Herald revealed on Monday that the INLA figure was suspected of being a “spotter” in the Sunset House pub when dissident Republican Michael Barr was shot dead by the cartel in April.
Hutch’s murder is the seventh linked to the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud and the sixth carried out by the Kinahan cartel.
Meanwhile, a 32-year-old north inner city criminal who once acted as a driver for the Kinahan cartel in Spain’s Costa-Del-Crime has now become one of the most powerful criminals within the organisation.
The Herald understands he is on a shortlist of around a dozen major gangsters who have been classified by gardai as key members in the mob.
Like many in the cartel, the gangster previously had very close links to Gary Hutch whose murder last year in Spain kicked-off the gangland bloodbath.
However, unlike some other north inner city criminals who were also childhood friends of slain Hutch, the 32-year-old decided to stick with the cartel as they now attempt to wipe out all associates of the murdered man.
“This man was not much more than a driver for the cartel six years ago but all that has changed now. He is a trusted and key member of the gang,” a source explained.
Gardai have been manning armed checkpoints at the three different addresses that the criminal has been staying at and a “stop- and-search policy” is in place every time they come across the gangster.
He was one of around 30 people arrested by police
investigating Christy Kinahan’s drug organisation in an international police investigation codenamed Operation Shovel in May, 2010. The criminal was released without charge after being questioned for a number of days by Spanish police.