Sunday 25 September 2016

Man hands himself into gardai following Gareth Hutch murder

Cathal McMahon, Ken Foy and Alan O’Keeffe

Published 24/05/2016 | 13:40

Gardai investigating the murder of Gareth Hutch raided a house in the north inner city (Inset: Murder victim Gareth Hutch)
Gardai investigating the murder of Gareth Hutch raided a house in the north inner city (Inset: Murder victim Gareth Hutch)

A man handed himself into gardaí following the murder of Gareth Hutch on Tuesday morning.

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Detectives raided a home earlier today following the fatal shooting.

Senior sources have told Independent.ie that some time later a man handed himself into gardaí at Mountjoy station.

The 29-year-old was arrested under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be questioned for seven days.

Gareth Hutch who was shot dead in Dublin's north inner city.
Gareth Hutch who was shot dead in Dublin's north inner city.

He was still being questioned on Wednesday morning.

The property searched by gardaí was in the Summerhill area of Dublin's North Inner city.

Around a dozen officers were involved in the raid operation in which they forced open the door of a house.

A small battering ram device was used in the raid and a number of items were taken from the targeted property.

The man arrested is well-known to gardaí and had a number of previous offences.

Sources have revealed that gardaí are currently seeking out a second man in relation to today's killing.

The raid was conducted by officers from Mountjoy Garda Sation who are understood to have got an early lead in their investigation into the feud murder.

Hutch, who was in his 30s and the father of a young boy, was murdered this morning in the Avondale House complex in Cumberland Street North in Dublin, a few hundred yards from O'Connell Street.

General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.
General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.

He is believed to be the seventh victim of the bloody dispute between the Kinahan and Hutch families.

The latest comes as it was revealed murder victim Gareth Hutch was speaking about the possibility of being shot less than 24 hours before he was killed.

General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.
General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.

Mr Hutch is understood to have appealed to Dublin City Council housing officers to move him from the flats because he was in fear for his life and looked after his son four days a week.

He was also concerned that the flat he was living in was an easy target as a balcony could be accessed from the ground and he claimed CCTV did not cover that part of the complex.

General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.
General view of Gardai at scene of shooting. Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin.

The victim explained to local city councillor Nial Ring that he may be shot dead but he wanted to ensure that his young son would not see it happen.

Mr Hutch wanted to move to another flat within the Avondale House complex which would give him more safety and security, said Cllr Ring.

“He came into my constituency office yesterday and he was enquiring about getting a transfer from the flat he was in in the complex to a different one in the complex.

The scene of this shooting in Dublin's north inner city
The scene of this shooting in Dublin's north inner city

“His point was that he was on the first floor where there was access to a balcony from the side which wasn’t covered by CCTV.  He felt this was putting him in more danger,” he said.

“He did point out to me that his flat number and his mobile number was directly connected to the Garda ERU (Emergency Response Unit).

“But his main concern was about his seven-year-old son who stayed with him four nights a week.

“He did not want anything to happen to him while his son was there.  His main concern was if something was to happen to him, that his son wouldn’t be there.

“We did a letter about it and he was to go to the welfare officer at 10 a.m. this morning with the letter.  We spent a half hour going through the letter, about his life being in danger in his flat and the need to move out,” he said.

“He was obviously very proud of his little son and spoke about him. He was obviously a very dedicated father and a very devoted father as his concern was for the little guy.

“He had a lot of extended family in the area. He was a decent guy and was trying to get back on track. But he had this threat hanging over him.

“The guards told him he had a direct line into the ERU ‘press the button and we’ll be there’ they told him,” he said.

Spekaing at a media briefing at Mountjoy Garda Station, Superintendent Daniel Flavin said gardai are interested in the movement of a black 5 Series BMW.

“At approximately 10am this morning gardai became aware of a shooting at Avondale house," he said.

“Two men approached the deceased as he was about to enter his car, it’s a black Volkswagen Passat.

"They fired a number of shots and we have recovered two handguns at the scene. The deceased has been identified as Gareth Hutch, a man in his mid 30s who was living in the area. We’ve launched a full murder investigation.

"We're interested in the movement of a black 5 Series BMW. The registration is 02-D-39051. We’re interested in its movements not alone this morning but in the days leading up to this.

“Following this shooting the two males entered this black BMW and subsequently a short time later got out of this BMW , running out of the carpark area and running onto North Cumberland Street. That is away from Parnell Street and onto Sean Mac Dermott Street.

"We’re appealing for witnesses who may have seen them leave the carpark. One is described as wearing a red top or hoodie, and the other is a grey coloured top he was wearing. They ran in the direction of Sean Mac Dermott Street."

The officer in charge of the investigation Superintendent Daniel Flavin also appealed for anyone who may have mobile phone footage taken close to the scene around the time of the shooting to come forward.

"The community have already assisted us tremendously in the area and I am again appealing for them to come forward and assist us with this investigation," he said.

Mr Hutch is a nephew of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch, whose family and associates have been repeatedly targeted by underworld rivals since the audacious AK47 gun attack on a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February.

David Byrne, from the Crumlin area of Dublin and an associate of the Kinahan family, was murdered in that incident.

His killing was said to have been in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Gary Hutch in September last year on the Costa del Sol after a fell foul of the Kinahan outfit and their operations in Spain.

Detectives based nearby at Mountjoy appealed for anyone who was in the Cumberland Street North area on Tuesday morning or who has any information to come forward.

The scene of the shooting has been sealed off and a technical examination of the area is planned.

If confirmed, it will be the sixth gun murder linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud since the Regency.

One of the victims of the feud was innocent father-of-three Martin O'Rourke, who was killed in crossfire outside Noctor's bar on Sheriff Street in Dublin when a gunman on a bike tried to murder another associate of the Hutch family.

Six of the killings have been blamed on gunmen connected to the Kinahans.

Fianna Fail justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan said the latest killing was shocking but not surprising.

"It is not acceptable that this brutality is taking place on the streets of our capital," he said.

"Over the last few months we have seen a spate of gangland killings dominate the media, beginning with the callous shooting in the Regency Hotel in Whitehall.

"We saw condemnation from the Minister for Justice and promises to crack down on these criminal gangs. Despite this, the feuding between these criminal gangs has continued. Today we saw a shooting in broad daylight, just minutes walking distance from our cities main thoroughfare."

Mr O'Callaghan repeated his party's call for a new Garda Serious and Organised Crime Unit to be set up.

Mr Ring said the north inner city communities, which have been affected by three of the killings in the feud, want to see action from government.

"There's this feeling now of helplessness and it will turn to anger again because now we have a Government," he said.

"I don't think there's another part of this city or part of this country where seven people could be shot dead within a short period of time that something wouldn't be done."

Mr Ring called for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to visit the area.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "This latest outrageous attack on law and order is unacceptable. I utterly condemn this morning's shooting.

"This unprecedented cycle of evil, cold-blooded violence must stop and the Government and gardai stand with the community in the north inner city."

Ms Fitzgerald said she met local people in the north inner city last week to hear their experiences of gangsterism.

"These ruthless gangs intent on violence and revenge have no place in any community in this country and they will not be tolerated," she said.

"We are confronting this and will see those involved brought to justice."

Ms Fitzgerald rejected suggestions that garda operations had been scaled back in the midst of the unprecedented gangland killings.

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