Senior gardaí have expressed surprise that a notorious criminal who is wanted in Ireland over the murder of Gareth Hutch is fighting his extradition from Turkey "tooth and nail".
Thomas 'Nicky' McConnell (35), from Ballymun, north Dublin, was arrested more than six weeks ago in the Turkish holiday resort of Kusadasi on foot of an international arrest warrant. He has since been housed in the tough Soke Prison near the tourist hotspot where he was arrested.
His deportation back to Ireland was ordered by Turkish authorities earlier this month, but McConnell is appealing the deportation order.
"Jails in Turkey have a reputation for being very uncomfortable places, particularly for foreign prisoners, so there was an expectation that he would be content to get out of there as soon as possible," a senior source said last night.
"But gardaí have been officially informed that he is appealing against his extradition back to Ireland and has a legal team who are fighting the deportation tooth and nail.
"It is surprising because conditions would be harsh there, much worse than he could expect here."
McConnell is the subject of a European Arrest Warrant in relation to the murder of Mr Hutch (36), who was shot dead in a car park outside Avondale House on North Cumberland Street in Dublin, on May 24, 2016.
This warrant was activated by Interpol, who were involved with Turkish police in the arrest of McConnell, who is understood to have been living alone in a beach house in Kusadasi in the months before his arrest.
Siblings Jonathan (35) and Regina Keogh (43), and associate Thomas Fox (33), were convicted at the Special Criminal Court in 2018 of the murder of Mr Hutch.