Wednesday 22 November 2017

Armed garda units on high alert in city

SLASHED: Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch was target of prison knife attack just weeks after his brother was shot dead in Spain
SLASHED: Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch was target of prison knife attack just weeks after his brother was shot dead in Spain
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Garda fear a massive "spectacular" is imminent to avenge the rising death toll on one side of the vicious gangland feud that has raged in Dublin since February.

Proposals that a mediator intervene to quell the deadly feud between the Kinahan drugs cartel and the Hutch gang based in the north inner city are now regarded as "impossible".

The feud has claimed six lives, five of the murders carried out by the Kinahan gang including one innocent bystander who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.

Sources said the silence from the Hutch gang is worrying senior officers who fear a spectacular similar in scale and size to the gun attack in the Regency Hotel is in the planning.

In the aftermath of the Regency shootings, there were hopes that a suitable intermediary could be found to stage some sort of intervention between both sides. However, senior sources say this is now impossible and the gang is in lockdown. "The stakes are too high. It has gone way beyond that now," said one source.

The murder of Michael Barr, a dissident republican suspected of sourcing the AK47s that were used in the Regency Hotel attack, has brought the New IRA into the equation.

Tensions have been further heightened by the imminent release from prison of a gangster who attacked Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch and who is thought to be aligned to the Kinahans. The murder of Derek Hutch's brother, Gary Hutch, by the Kinahan drugs cartel in Spain sparked off the feud last year.

Gary Hutch's associates avenged his murder by storming the Regency Hotel in February, killing a key Kinahan associate and, in the process, unleashing almost unprecedented levels of gangland violence on the streets of the capital.

Jamie Griffin, who is due to be released from prison later this month, was reportedly paid a bounty by the Kinahan gang to attack Derek Hutch in jail. The serious organised crime unit is on high alert in advance of his release as it is feared he may join the feud or become a target when he gets out.

The murders have had a chilling effect on communities in the north inner city where many of Hutch's associates live. There is a sense that anyone could be a target and no one knows who is next, said one source.

Reports claim one of Hutch's associates has reportedly been checking in and out of different hotels in Dublin in order to cover his tracks.

The Hutch associates have the murder of one Kinahan gang member on their hands. The Kinahan gang retaliated with a vengeance, murdering four men linked to the Hutch gang and one innocent bystander.

Eddie Hutch, a brother of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch, was shot dead in his corporation flat and Noel Duggan, a friend of Gerry Hutch, was also murdered outside his home. Martin O'Rourke, a father of three who was an innocent bystander, was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity. Barr is believed to be the Kinahan's most recent victim. Gardai suspect the Kinahan gang are marking a wide circle of Gary Hutch's associates, moving in on those who are easy targets.

The government promised gardai "all resources necessary" to end the cycle of murders.

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald promised to back "extensive overtime to support them in delivering concentrated visible policing measures to tackle gang-related crime".

Dedicated armed support units are now patrolling parts of the capital, bolstered by armed checkpoints and intelligence operations aimed at disrupting gangland activity.

Sunday Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News