Tuesday 12 November 2019

Gangland murder victim's uncle was shot dead last year

Gardai at the scene in Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Gardai at the scene in Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Shot dead: Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh
Bullet holes in the windscreen of one of the Vehicles involved in the shooting. Photo: Colin Keegan
Gardai at the scene of a shooting on Church Avenue, Drumcondra yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan

Ken Foy

A man shot dead in broad daylight was the nephew of another slain gangland figure.

Paul Kavanagh (27), from Drimnagh, was shot dead after sustaining shots in the face and the chest. He was targeted by two men wearing balaclavas on Dublin's northside at around 11.30am yesterday.

Gerard Kavanagh
Gerard Kavanagh
The crime scene on Church Avenue
Herald's Alan O'Keeffe talking to Bertie Ahern.
The crime scene on Church Avenue
The crime scene on Church Avenue

His uncle, Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, was murdered in a pub on the Costa del Sol just over six months ago.

Gardaí believe Paul Kavanagh may have been targeted in retaliation for suspected involvement in the murder of reckless criminal Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy last year.

He was driving a Volkswagen Passat in Drumcondra when his car was rammed from behind.

The two masked gunmen fired at the wheels of the car to make sure that the young criminal couldn't flee. They then fired multiple shots at Kavanagh before fleeing the scene.

The victim's body was found in the front seat of the car near the Cat and Cage pub, close to Upper Drumcondra Road.

Gardaí say that the attackers sped away from the scene and fled on foot to Gracepark Road down towards Tolka Park after setting the getaway vehicle on fire.

Despite having few convictions, the murdered man was classified by gardaí as a key enforcer for the Christy Kinahan international crime syndicate.

He helped carry the coffin for his murdered uncle Gerard when his body was repatriated from Spain last year.

Last night, sources said that gardaí had also not ruled out the possibility that the same gang that shot 'Hatchet' also killed his nephew.

"Paul Kavanagh had been shoving his weight around in a big way and, like his uncle, had been threatening people looking to call in debts for the wider Kinahan gang, so that has to be looked at.

"However, it is more likely that he may have been shot in revenge for the murder of 'Mad Mickey' in Tallaght last year, which his crew are suspected of playing an active part in," a source said last night.

Detectives are working on the theory that he had been under surveillance for weeks.

They aren't ruling out the possibility that Kavanagh may have been the target of a murder attempt in a Tallaght pub on Sunday night when a would-be assassin's handgun jammed.

The father of two was suspected of being involved in importing cocaine into the country. He was also involved in a used car business in west Dublin.

In 2010, he was arrested by gardaí in relation to a kidnap and torture incident at a house in Lucan. A man was stripped and badly beaten during the incident.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who lives in the area, was visibly shocked as he walked past the scene shortly after the killing took place.

"This is my area, I grew up here and I am shocked by this," he said.

"I don't know what the shooting was about but it's terrible that such a thing can happen in broad daylight."

He added: "My brother and his family live just around the corner."

Gardaí have launched a manhunt but no arrests had been made last night.

Irish Independent

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