Saturday 10 December 2016

Publicans in hometown of 'Flat Cap' suspect call for ban on hats in bid to fight gang crime

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 30/05/2016 | 09:10

Flowers left outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin after one man died and two others were injured following a shooting incident at the hotel where a weigh-in for a boxing match was taking place
Flowers left outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin after one man died and two others were injured following a shooting incident at the hotel where a weigh-in for a boxing match was taking place

Bars in the hometown of the Regency Hotel shooter nicknamed ‘Flat Cap’ have imposed a ban on hats, out of fears that revellers could be wrongly targeted by the Kinahan gang.

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The suspect is believed to have been involved in the attack on February 5, in which David Byrne (34) was killed at a boxing weigh-in at the Drumcondra hotel.

‘Flat Cap’ is understood to have fled to his hometown in Strabane, Co Tyrone, in the aftermath of the shooting.

Publicans in the town are now requesting that customers remove all headgear on entering their premises, amidst fears that an innocent bystander could be mistaken for ‘Flat Cap’ by members of the Kinahan cartel.

One bar-owner, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Star that the ban was introduced to protect his patrons.

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“You can’t stop people coming into your bar simply because they are wearing a hat but you can stop them becoming a target,” he said.

“We are quietly explaining our fears to them. We don’t want our bars becoming caught up in this feud.

“People have been very understanding, they know it’s for their own safety. Strangely enough I have noticed that a lot of young men have stopped wearing headgear.”

The ban comes amid fears that ‘Flat Cap’ could be targeted as the next victim in the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Earlier this month, the Irish Independent reported that members of the Kinahan cartel had been dispatched to Strabane to carry out a revenge attack on the suspected killer.

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