Target of botched gang feud hit now lying low in the UK
Published 18/04/2016 | 07:47
The intended target of a botched gangland assassination has fled the jurisdiction and is lying low in the UK, it has emerged.
Keith Murtagh (32) was targeted in the Sheriff Street area of the capital last Thursday in an incident believed to be linked to the ongoing Hutch-Kinahan feud.
However, the gunman shot 24-year-old Martin O'Rourke - an innocent father-of-three who had no involvement in organised crime - in a case of mistaken identity.
It is believed that Murtagh, a convicted armed robber, was targeted because of his association with members of the Hutch gang.
The Herald can reveal that he fled to the UK following Mr O'Rourke's murder.
An associate of Murtagh's contacted detectives in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Sheriff Street and asked for a garda escort out of the area.
Murtagh is believed to have fled on Thursday evening and is hiding out at the home of a close relative.
"He is obviously in fear of his life, and the attempt to kill him has seriously spooked him," a source said.
"Murtagh hasn't been sighted in the north inner city since the shooting, and it is believed he is keeping his head down with a relative in the UK."
The Herald can also reveal that an associate of the Kinahan cartel who ordered the hit on Murtagh is furious that the gunman shot the wrong person.
"When it emerged that the wrong person was killed, he went into a rage - not because an innocent person was shot, but because they missed an opportunity to get their target. He is absolutely furious," a source said.
It is believed that a €100,000 sum was offered for the killing of Murtagh, which was ordered by a close associate of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne (33).
Sources are unsure if the hitman will now become a cartel target himself after the botched hit.
"He is being called a Judas because he is mates with many of the main players in the Hutch gang, yet he took up the offer of money to kill Keith Murtagh," a source said.