Senior INLA crime figure was in Sunset House pub when manager shot dead
A senior member of the so-called New INLA crime faction was in the Sunset House pub when a dissident republican was shot dead on the orders of the Kinahan cartel, the Herald can reveal.
Only days after the murder of Michael Barr last month, the north inner city criminal was officially notified by gardai of an active threat against his life amid mounting underworld speculation that he played some role in setting up Barr on the night he was shot dead.
However, it is not known exactly who is targeting the New INLA figure, who is understood to be in hiding.
Gardai believe that Co Tyrone man Barr, who was shot several times in the Sunset House in Dublin's north inner city on April 25, became a target because of his close association with the Regency Hotel gunman nicknamed 'Flat Cap'. They are both from the same county.
Barr, who was linked to the New IRA, was blasted several times, including once in the head, in the Summerhill pub.
The killing was the sixth fatal shooting linked to the continuing Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Sources said last night that if the New INLA faction got dragged into the bitter gangland war it could have "disastrous consequences" that could lead to a further escalation in the bloodshed.
"The New INLA are involved in extortion, criminal debt collection and drug-dealing, but they're also involved in legitimate businesses - they're making tens of thousands of euro each month," a source said.
Investigations into the mob were stepped up after a viable bomb and a pistol were seized and a Polish man arrested when armed gardai pulled over and searched a vehicle near Mountrath, Co Laois, last February 25.
That incident led to the M7 motorway being closed for several hours. Sources said the bust had led to "lives being saved".
Late last month, gardai seized a handgun and ammunition linked to the New INLA when they raided a property in Ballymun.
No arrests have yet been made in relation to Barr's murder. He was due to be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court for handling stolen electrical equipment.
Barr had pleaded guilty to the offence at Finnstown House Hotel on July 18, 2014. A bomb was found in a car there two months earlier.
Republican supporters described Barr as an "ex-republican POW".
He had lived in Poppintree and in Finglas before moving to the north inner city when he took over the Sunset House in the past year.
Fifteen men, including three Dubliners, were arrested by the PSNI at Barr's funeral earlier this month.
Five-hundred people turned out for the mass at St Mary's Church in the Melmount area of Strabane, Co Tyrone.
Around a dozen men dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms accompanied the cortege towards the church.
Black flags were placed on lamp posts along part of the route, while a black beret and gloves were placed on top of the coffin, which was draped in a tricolour.