Monday 5 December 2016

Shooting target has €100,000 bounty on head

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

Published 23/05/2016 | 02:30

Nine shots were fired through the window, inset Keith Murtagh
Nine shots were fired through the window, inset Keith Murtagh
Keith Murtagh: warned by gardaí that his life is in danger

A senior associate of the Hutch gang who survived two murder bids has discharged himself from hospital and gone into hiding.

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Convicted armed robber Keith Murtagh (32) suffered a grazed arm when a gunman opened fire on a house in Cherry Orchard Court, Ballyfermot, in the early hours of Saturday morning. A woman who was in the house at the time also suffered minor injuries to her leg.

It is unclear if the injuries were caused by bullet fragments or splintered glass after at least nine shots were fired through the front window of the house.

Gardai believe that Murtagh was the intended target when a hitman mistakenly shot dead innocent drug addict Martin O’Rourke in the north inner city last month. Detectives are now investigating if this latest attack is linked to the ongoing Kinahan/Hutch feud, which has claimed six lives in eight months. It is believed that Murtagh was targeted because of his association with members of the Hutch gang.

Murtagh was brought to St James’s hospital after the attack, but discharged himself on Saturday. He fled to the UK following the shooting of O’Rourke on Sheriff Street on April 14 but had returned and was spotted in the north inner city in recent days.

He has been warned by gardai that his life is under threat.

It is believed a €100,000 sum has been offered for the killing of Murtagh, which was ordered by a close associate of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne (34) who is a senior member of the cartel headed by Daniel Kinahan.

Murtagh was part of an armed gang which included Derek Hutch that conspired to steal a large sum of money from a cash-in-transit van in Lucan, Co Dublin, seven years ago.

Fire

Gardai had intelligence about the plan and they moved in as the crime was underway.

Murtagh was wounded and one of his accomplices, Garrett Molloy (27), was shot dead when gardai opened fire.

Murtagh later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a weapon with intent to endanger life at Foxboro Road, Lucan, on May 15, 2009.

Garda sources now said there is no end in sight to the current feud that was sparked by the Kinahan gang’s murder of Gary Hutch (34) last September.

This was followed by an attempt to murder Derek Hutch in prison. He was stabbed repeatedly with a home-made knife and only saved by the intervention of staff in

Mountjoy Prison.

Keith Murtagh has been one of the top targets of the Kinahan gang since the Regency Hotel attack on February 5 in which David Byrne, a senior Kinahan gang member, was shot dead.

It is believed Murtagh was targeted because of his close links to Derek Hutch and other members of the northside gang.

According to garda sources, the Kinahan gang’s representatives, based mainly in the southside of inner city Dublin, are determined to destroy

the Hutch gang and its

associates. So far, the Kinahan gang have killed five people in the feud, including Gerry Hutch’s brother Eddie (59).

Irish Independent

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