Wednesday 23 October 2019

Armed gardaí to watch over cartel criminals at GAA club's fight night

GANGS: Daniel Kinahan, head of the Kinahan crime cartel
GANGS: Daniel Kinahan, head of the Kinahan crime cartel

Ken Foy & Robin Schiller

A special armed garda operation is set to be put in place at a boxing event this weekend after officers received information that members of the Kinahan cartel are planning to attend it.

Crumlin gardaí will be closely monitoring the event in Drimnagh on Saturday evening, even though similar boxing nights at the GAA venue have passed off without incident.

“A special policing plan will be in place because gardaí have received information that criminals aligned to the Kinahan network are intending to go to this event,” a senior source told Independent.ie.

“There will be garda checkpoints close to the venue and high-visibility armed policing will also be in place.

Mark Carlyle pictured at Dublin District Courts
Mark Carlyle pictured at Dublin District Courts

“You can never be too careful with these events.”

Among those expected to attend are associates of violent cartel-linked Crumlin criminal Mark Carlyle (28), who was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for a near-fatal assault in 2015.

A number of boxing events have attracted gangland violence in recent years, most famously the Regency Hotel bloodbath in February 2016, which made international headlines.

Last January, Hutch gang associate Graham ‘Choco’ Byrne (45) was targeted near a boxing event when a gunman fired up to eight shots at him outside the National Boxing Stadium on the capital’s South Circular Road.

Byrne miraculously only suffered gunshot injuries to his leg in the incident, in which an innocent student from the UK was also struck by a bullet and suffered injuries to his hand.

“Boxing events have been used as an opportunity for extreme violence in the recent past and that is why a robust policing plan will be in place on Saturday,” the source added.

Separately, gardai in the Crumlin/Drimnagh area have had major recent successes against drug dealers linked to the Kinahan cartel.

In the latest operation in the area, officers seized €30,000 of heroin yesterday morning.

The bust was made by members of the Sundrive Road drug unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Gardai raided a house in Drimnagh, where a man in his 50s was arrested.

During a search of the property, heroin with an estimated street value of €30,000 was recovered.

The operation is part of an investigation by gardai targeting street-level dealers working for the cartel.

A source said that the man being quizzed was not known to gardai.

“He is still suspected of holding drugs for this crime gang and is therefore an important part of their network,” the source said.

Earlier this month, members of the Sundrive Road drug unit seized around €20,000 of cocaine after targeting the crime gang’s low-level dealers during a raid in the Walkinstown area.

The drugs had been hidden in up to five holes under pavement slabs in a back yard.

A man in his 40s was arrested over that seizure and was detained at Sundrive Road Garda Station.

He was quizzed for several hours over the bust and later released without charge.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Meanwhile, gardai have also conducted an operation clamping down on juveniles in Crumlin and Drimnagh who they believe may have been paid by older cartel-linked criminals to cause mayhem in the area last month.

“These young lads were being a general nuisance – they were throwing stones at garda cars and giving officers severe verbal abuse,” the source said.

“They were intimidating local people by loitering around areas and being involved in antisocial behaviour such as setting bins on fire.”

The most serious incident happened when a petrol bomb was thrown by a group of the young thugs at a garda car as Halloween night descended into chaos in the area.

After the Halloween mayhem, gardai conducted a number of search operations targeting the juvenile criminals and there have been no incidents in the past two weeks involving the young crew.

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