Feud victim 'shot over pub attack after taunts about dad's killing'
The latest victim of the Hutch-Kinahan feud may have signed his own death warrant after becoming involved in a pub brawl with a rival criminal just weeks before he was shot dead.
Gardai are now investigating whether a notorious mobster with links to the Kinahan cartel was involved in the gun murder of Kane McCormack after the mobster was brutally beaten in a Dublin pub by the slain thug.
McCormack (24) was shot dead in a field close to Dunboyne, Co Meath, on the night of December 1 after becoming the victim of a €40,000 double-cross linked to the feud.
The Herald can reveal gardai are investigating new information in the murder case after it emerged that McCormack, a father-of-one, savagely assaulted the gangster in a pub near Dublin Airport a number of weeks before he was shot dead.
It has been alleged that McCormack was "gunning" for the drugs trafficker after he received information that the Northside criminal had boasted of involvement in the murder of his father, Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan, on December 22 last year.
Sources have revealed that McCormack, who also used his father's surname Kirwan, "was furious" with the gangster after hearing reports that the drugs trafficker had made the boasts at an after-funeral party. It can be revealed that McCormack spotted the gangster queuing for a carvery lunch in the pub in north Co Dublin a number of weeks ago.
"McCormack saw him, he just went over and flattened the fella. He ended up on the ground and had to go to hospital with serious facial injuries," a source said.
"McCormack was a big, fit fella and this thug never stood a chance. There had been bad blood for a while after Kane had heard about the alleged boasts about his dad's murder," a source explained.
In bizarre scenes after the drugs trafficker was attacked, a close female associate of the gangster confronted McCormack and he punched her.
McCormack then fled the scene after stealing her mobile phone. Just hours after the pub attack, a notorious criminal who is linked to the 'Mr Big' drugs mob called McCormack from an illegal prison phone and demanded that he hand back the stolen mobile.
The phone handover happened in the same Topaz garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, where Hutch gang kingpin James 'Mago' Gately survived an attempt on his life in May.
Two females associated with the warring duo met and the phone was handed over.
But just weeks later, McCormack was shot dead and gardai are now probing whether this saga is linked to the murder.
The gangster was the right-hand man of crime lord Michael 'Micka' Kelly, who was shot by slain Alan Ryan's Real IRA mob in September 2011.
The criminal, who was previously a banker, was present at the time of Kelly's murder. He sped off in fear for his life and 'Micka' was left on his own to die after being shot multiple times. This gangster has barely any criminal convictions.
On one occasion, he had a large amount of cash forfeited to the State after a court heard that gardai were satisfied he was friends with drug dealers and the funds were the proceeds of crime.
However, since the murder of Kelly, the low-profile gangster, who is mostly based between England and Spain, has forged links with the deadly Kinahan cartel which was determined to have McCormack murdered after he swore vengeance for his father's murder.
Sources say that he has been spending more time in the capital and has links to the Kinahan cartel as well as other crime groups. The Herald previously revealed that gardai raided the home of gangland figure Jason 'Jay' O'Connor as part of their investigation into the murder of McCormack.
The suspected 'trigger man' for the murder is a 37-year-old Finglas criminal who is closely linked to O'Connor and his mob.
The Finglas thug previously served a lengthy jail sentence for an extremely violent offence in a pub in the area where he is from. Sources say that McCormack "would not have trusted this man" and only went in a car with him to Co Meath because he trusted another dangerous gangland individual.
Gardai believe the murder had been planned for at least three weeks and that he had been "lured into a false sense of security" after being taken to the location at least once before he was shot dead there.