Partner of 'Mago' Gately was 'under surveillance' before bid to kill Kinahan target
'Hit team' was watching criminal who had returned from North
The Kinahan cartel placed James 'Mago' Gately's partner under surveillance in the days before attempting to kill their prime target, gardaí believe.
James Gately, who was shot outside a Topaz petrol station in Clonshaugh, North Dublin, around 1.35pm yesterday, had returned from his hideaway in Northern Ireland to visit his family in Coolock in the days before the near-fatal shooting.
However, it is suspected he was being watched the entire time by a hired hit team.
The feared criminal was last night in a critical condition in hospital after being shot up to five times in the latest gun attack linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud. But he is expected to survive.
Gately (30), who was saved by his bullet-proof vest, had visited the Topaz petrol station near the N32 on the Clonsaugh Road moments before the shooting occurred.
He had driven into the forecourt in his Northern registered car, went to the shop and returned to his car when he was targeted in the drive-by shooting.
A 08-D black Lexus pulled up to Gately's vehicle and, without exiting his car the shooter fired multiple shots at Gately from a handgun.
The Hutch associate was hit up to five times including once in the neck. However, four shots were lodged into his bullet-proof vest, saving his life.
A nurse who came across the shooting tended to the casualty and managed to stem the flow from Gately's wound before emergency services arrived.
It has emerged that the country's latest gun victim's partner was placed under surveillance by members of the Kinahan cartel before the attempted murder.
Before yesterday's shooting he had returned to the Coolock home he shares with his partner - who has no involvement in criminality. This property was being watched by cartel spotters in case 'Mago' Gately returned home.
This is despite armed garda checkpoints being rolled out on a regular basis near his home. He was treated at the scene, where he responded to paramedics, before being transferred to the Mater Hospital under armed garda escort.
A full medical report on Gately had not been completed by yesterday evening and investigating detectives have still not been able to interview him.
The lone gunmen fled in the black coloured Lexus while gardaí also believe that a man on a motorbike nearby acted as a spotter.
Gately last month survived a credible threat on his life after armed gardaí foiled a murder plot which was at an advanced stage.
However, despite being given security advice by gardaí, the Kinahan gang had recently gathered detailed information on Gately's movements.
"He changed his car on an almost bi-weekly basis, but the cartel were aware of what vehicle he was driving and when he was returning to Dublin," a senior source said last night.
Gately was driving a wine-coloured Ford Mondeo with northern registration plates when he was shot. He had walked out of the busy filling station moments before being gunned down.
A handgun was used in the shooting. Gardai believe that the Lexus pulled up beside Gately as he got into his car.
The Lexus suspected of being used in the botched murder was later found burnt out in Ardee, Co Louth. Supt Finbarr Murphy of Ballymun garda station yesterday appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to contact gardaí.
"It was busy (in the forecourt). It was lunch time and I say there would have been 60 to 70 people present when the attack occurred.
"We've spoken to people in the forecourt and in the shop and around the (Clayton) hotel. We're appealing for anyone in the area at the time or anyone with a dash-cam on their car, or anyone who witnessed bad driving from an 08-D black Lexus (to come forward)," Supt Murphy said.