Friday 30 September 2016

Paul Williams: Unprecedented twists in crime war that could leave more corpses in its wake

Paul Williams

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

First the murder of veteran criminal Noel Duggan, and now an active death threat against another gangland godfather, Martin 'The Viper' Foley.

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This week has seen even further unprecedented twists in a crime war that is quickly spiralling out of control.

What is extraordinary about this feud - and there are many extraordinary aspects to this madness - is that the Kinahan gang seems intent on wiping out the underworld elders who should otherwise be looking at the prospect of dying peacefully in their sleep.

And it seems to be driven by a bloodlust to eradicate the friends and family of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, who has become their prime target.

If anyone is keeping the score (and the thugs involved with the Kinahans certainly are), then so far, the tally is Hutchs 1 and Kinahans 3.

Noel Duggan, The Monk's closest friend, was 58 years old at the time of his murder.

Christy Kinahan
Christy Kinahan

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So too was Gerry's older brother, Eddie Hutch, who was gunned down three days after the Regency Hotel outrage last month.

The death toll also includes the Monk's nephew Gary, whose murder ultimately sparked off this all-out gangland war.

By taking the life of his nephew, his brother and his best friend, the organisation headed up by the Capo dei Capi (boss of bosses), Christy Kinahan, has demonstrated that this is about as personal as it can get.

Kinahan, who is now 59, grew up on the mean streets as a contemporary of Noel Duggan, Gerry Hutch and Martin Foley.

His organisation and that of Hutch's were once so close that they were considered to be the same outfit.

Now that has changed completely - with the script for this real-life bloodlust bearing an uncanny resemblance to the plot of Mario Puzo's classic 'The Godfather'.

Despite the fact that he handed the reins of power to his volatile son Daniel, it must be assumed that the aging Dapper Don approves of his heir's declaration of war.

So like the rest of his elderly crew of underworld granddads, his hopes of passing away peacefully in his sleep are also fading.

Martin Foley, who at the age of 63 will soon be eligible for his bus pass and old age pension, is also under threat as a result of his friendship with Hutch and Duggan.

This is also an important new development. The Viper, who organised a campaign of intimidation including a hoax bomb and an acid attack at my home in 2003, is no stranger to being on the receiving end of a hit-man's bullets - at least 10 in the past 20 years.

But everyone, particularly Foley, would have assumed that having miraculously made it to this age, that he would be leaving this mortal coil without any violent assistance.

Now there is only one certainty in this war amongst evil, greedy men: there will be more bloodshed and more violence.

By the time this feud is over, the concern is there will be many other corpses - of both the old and the young.

Contact Paul Williams at pwilliams@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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