Monday 22 October 2018

Feud killer carried out Sunset House execution to clear Kinahan drug debt

Eamonn Cumberton
Eamonn Cumberton
Michael Barr

Robin Schiller

A man who brutally gunned down a dissident republican in a city pub committed the murder to pay off a significant drug debt to the Kinahan Cartel.

Yesterday, Eamonn Cumberton, who is also the chief suspect in the failed hit on Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch on New Year's Eve 2015, became the first person to be convicted of a murder linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed 14 lives.

Cumberton (30) was yesterday jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of dissident republican Michael Barr (bottom) - the fourth murder carried out as part of the deadly dispute.

Cocaine

The convicted gangland killer was also investigated by gardaí over the murders of 'The Monk's' brother Eddie Hutch Snr and Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan, but was never arrested over either killing.

Gardaí believe that Cumberton - who also trained in mixed martial arts - became involved in the Barr murder after owing a significant cocaine debt to the cartel.

He had denied the murder of Michael Barr (35) in the Sunset House pub in Dublin's north inner city on April 25, 2016.

It comes as tensions remain high in the capital with the funeral of the 14th feud victim, Derek Coakley-Hutch (27), in the north inner city tomorrow.

The Special Criminal Court heard how Mr Barr was standing at the counter of the bar, socialising, when two men wearing 'Freddy Krueger' masks entered the pub and one of them shot him seven times in what the court described yesterday as a "deliberate" and "planned" execution.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, said that although the court could not determine which role Cumberton played in the shooting, he was one of three culprits seen to dump items connected with the killing into the getaway car.

Earlier, the judge had said that the people socialising in the Sunset House pub that night were "treated to a very traumatic spectacle indeed".

At 9.31pm, two men had got out of a grey Audi, parked across the road from the Sunset House, and went into the pub.

One of the men approached Mr Barr and shot him. The other man stood at the door and discharged one shot from a gun, which struck the bar.

The men then left the pub and got back into the Audi, which was later found partially burnt-out on Walsh Road in Drumcondra. People in the area had seen three men attempting to set fire to the car.

Gardaí arrived and put out the fire.

In the car, officers found three rubber masks, a baseball cap and four firearms. These items were "intimately connected with the killing", Mr Justice Hunt said, describing the masks as "eye-catching, lurid and distinctive".

The judge said the court was satisfied that DNA found on the baseball cap and one of the rubber masks was Cumberton's and the three people seen outside the Audi were "involved intimately" in the events at Sunset House.

Sentencing Cumberton to life in prison, Mr Justice Hunt expressed sympathy and condolence for those left behind.

Irish Independent

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