Thursday 17 August 2017

Shooting victim 'Mago' Gately warned gardai: 'Feud won't end until Daniel Kinahan is dead'

Scene of yesterday's shooting and inset James Gately (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)
Scene of yesterday's shooting and inset James Gately (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)
Gardai at scene at Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction.
Gardai at the scene of the shooting at the Topaz filling station at Clonshaugh near Dublin airport. Picture: Arthur Carron
Scene of the shooting in north Dublin.
Emergency services at the Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction, Dublin.
Gardai at scene at Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction
Gardai at scene at Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction.

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

The best pal of feud murder victim Gary Hutch is expected to survive after an attempt on his life in the Clonshaugh area of north Dublin.

James 'Mago' Gately (30) is the notorious criminal who warned gardai last year that the capital's deadly feud would not be over until Daniel Kinahan was shot dead.

The father-of-two is originally from Portland Row in Dublin's north inner city but has been hiding out in Northern Ireland since the feud blew up.

He has been warned over a dozen times in the past year that his life is under threat from the Kinahan cartel and was last month named in court as a murder target.

Gately has nearly 30 criminal convictions, mostly for traffic offences.

FIREARMS

Gardai at scene at Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction.
Gardai at scene at Topaz filling station, off N1/N32 junction.

However, the latest was for dangerous driving relating to an incident in which Gately and Patrick Hutch Jnr (25) were arrested by armed gardai investigating the Regency Hotel bloodbath.

Patrick Hutch Jnr was later charged with the murder of key Kinahan associate David Byrne (33) at the hotel as well as firearms offences and will face trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

Gately is not facing charges over the Regency Hotel attack in February, last year, but has been questioned about it.

However, he was no stranger to gangland violence himself before his miracle escape yesterday.

In November, 2012, the feared criminal was arrested and then released without charge by detectives investigating the murder of gang boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne two-and-a-half years earlier.

Gardai believe the murder of 'The Don' was sanctioned by the Kinahan cartel, who Gately and Gary Hutch were very close to at the time.

Gately was just a teenager when he was questioned about the murder of father-of-five Roy Collins, who was shot dead in Summerhill in Dublin's north inner city in November, 2006. On that occasion too he was released without charge.

It can also be revealed that yesterday's incident was not the first time that 'Mago' has been shot. He suffered minor injuries after being blasted in the leg as part of a north inner city dispute in September, 2008.

Gately, who is a distant cousin of the late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, was once on very friendly terms with cartel crime boss Daniel Kinahan through his life-long friendship with slain Gary Hutch who was murdered in a double-cross in September, 2015.

The brutal murder led Gately to split from his former associates in the cartel.

Gately had put up Gary Hutch on his secret returns to Dublin while he was under active threat from the Kinahan cartel in the months before his murder on Spain's Costa del Crime. Gately previously ran a beauty salon with senior Kinahan cartel member Barry Finnegan in Dublin's north inner city.

However, following the Regency Hotel attack and the deadly gangland feud, the business was wound down.

Gately also has a number of other legitimate business interests near the IFSC area of Dublin 1.

However, he has been seen less and less in Dublin over the past year as the capital's deadly feud has raged, claiming 11 lives and almost his own yesterday.

It is understood that Gately has been changing his car almost every week and also rides around on a high-powered motorbike, rarely leaving his home without wearing a bulletproof vest.

Gately has been a close associate of the Hutch clan since he was a child and was photographed carrying Gary Hutch's coffin.

DISGUSTED

Gary Hutch and Gately were arrested for the robbery of a record €7.6m from a Bank of Ireland distribution centre at College Green in 2009.

In the aftermath of Gary Hutch's death, sources revealed that Gately refused to attend a number of meetings that the cartel tried to organise with him because he was "disgusted and heartbroken" about what had happened to his pal.

Daniel Kinahan, the son of cartel boss Christy Kinahan, was the chief target of the Regency attack but escaped from the hotel unharmed.

"We will not rest until Daniel Kinahan is dead. He caused all of this - it won't end until he's in his grave," the criminal warned detectives when they visited his Coolock home following the Regency attack.

The cartel blamed him for being one of the three men dressed as ERU officers during the attack but he was never charged with any offence connected to the shooting by gardai.

Gately's last brush with the law happened in March when he was fined €500 and disqualified from driving for two years at Dublin District Court.

This related to the incident in March, last year, when he was arrested driving Patrick Hutch Jnr on the Malahide Road.

Gately was the driver of a Nissan Almera which was pursued after turning away from a checkpoint and eventually stopped by armed officers.

However, Gately was charged with the driving offence while Hutch is now in custody awaiting murder charges.

He recently appealed to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court not to take his driving licence away as without it he faced an unidentified "serious threat" to his life.

What happened yesterday is just the latest attempt on Gately's life. He survived a murder bid last month after armed gardai raided a property in west Dublin.

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