Stolen drug cash texts led to Kavanagh killing
Ireland's latest gangland victim was murdered by his own mob - the Christy Kinahan crime gang - because he was stealing cash from them.
The Herald can reveal that Paul Kavanagh (27) was shot dead because he was pocketing money he was collecting from a notorious Drimnagh drug dealer who was gradually repaying a debt of over €1m to the Kinahan mob.
Kavanagh was killed in a ruthless attack as he sat in a Volkswagen Passat on Church Avenue in Drumcondra at around 11.30am last Thursday. Two hitmen carried out a detailed surveillance operation before ramming his car and riddling him with bullets.
Last night, it emerged that Paul Kavanagh's fate was sealed after the Drimnagh drugs trafficker was summoned to a meeting with senior members of the Kinahan mob.
"The Drimnagh dealer owes well over €1m to the cartel and he has been paying back sums of €10,000 or €20,000 on a monthly basis," a source explained.
"The problem is that they were not getting this cash. The dealer was called to a meeting where they might well have killed him. Instead, he explained that he had been paying back the money and had been handing envelopes of cash to Paul Kavanagh for the previous number of months. The gang did not believe him but then he produced a mobile phone and showed text messages which proved he had been giving cash to Kavanagh."
The Herald can also reveal today that Paul was a brother of Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, who was murdered by the same mob last September. It was previously believed that he was a nephew.
Paul carried the coffin of his brother 'Hatchet' who was shot dead in Spain's Costa-Del-Crime for doing the same thing his younger brother was - stealing money from his own gang. This is the same gang that murdered gangland boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.
The Drimnagh trafficker who has been trying to pay back the Kinahan mob, was the Criminal Assets Bureau's number one target for a number of years and was previously described by a judge as having extensive links to the "upper levels of crime" after a court ruled that the State could seize his home.
Sources believe that a Cabra gang was involved in the theft of the car used in the murder of Kavanagh last week and that the shooting was carried out by a brutal hitman who has close links to Christy Kinahan henchman Gary Hutch.
At the weekend, the Herald revealed that the Audi Sportback was taken from a garden in the Palmerstown area of Dublin in the early hours of March 11.
Sources say that the "clinical" hit was "overseen" by a north inner city hood who was at the centre of the gangland murder of his former associate Eamon 'The Don' Dunne in April 2010.
He was one of around a dozen criminals arrested for that unsolved slaying but was released without charge.
"Like the Dunne murder, this was a Kinahan gang enterprise from start to finish. A lot of the same crew were involved in this one from start to finish," a source said.
"Like that killing, it shows that the Kinahan crew are not to be messed with and Paul Kavanagh was very, very stupid to think he could take cash from them, especially after his brother was killed for the exact same reason."
Dad-of-two Kavanagh was suspected of being involved in importing cocaine and was a very close associate of notorious heroin trafficker Greg Lynch and feared criminal Paul Rice, and was understood to have been involved in a number of feuds in the city.
Sources say that gardai are now satisfied that the murder is not linked to the murder of rival criminal 'Mad Mickey' Devoy who was killed in January of last year in Tallaght.