Saturday 22 September 2018

Gangland victim Kane McCormack was 'lured to death in twisted double-cross'

Kane McCormack, whose body was found in a field on the Kildare/Meath border.
Kane McCormack, whose body was found in a field on the Kildare/Meath border.

Ken Foy

Gardai investigating the latest murder in the brutal Hutch/ Kinahan feud are probing associates of notorious gangland figure Jason 'Jay' O'Connor, who they believe are behind the killing.

The Herald can reveal that investigators understand the 13th victim of the feud, convicted criminal Kane McCormack (24), was lured to his death by associates of O'Connor and shot dead for €40,000.

Senior sources have revealed that McCormack, whose father Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan was shot dead by the Kinahan cartel last December, had been enlisted by the gang to carry out a "hit" in Dunboyne, Co Meath.

However, McCormack was himself shot dead in a twisted gangland double-cross.

The cartel targeted McCormack because, in the wake of his father's murder, he was heard frequently making threats of revenge against the Kinahan mob.

McCormack's body was found in a field on the Meath/Kildare border by a woman at around noon on Saturday. He had been shot in the back of the head.

Garda preserve the scene at Waterstown Co Meath where Kane McCormack (inset) was discovered between the Meath and Kildare border Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Garda preserve the scene at Waterstown Co Meath where Kane McCormack (inset) was discovered between the Meath and Kildare border Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

McCormack, also known as Kane Kirwan, had been formally warned his life was in danger by gardai, acting on information that the Kinahan cartel would strike over fears he could seek revenge for his father's killing last December.

Officers are investigating reports that McCormack met up with a crew linked to Jason 'Jay' O'Connor on Friday.

Sources have revealed that McCormack had been a prime target for the Kinahan cartel for more than a year, even before his father was shot dead.

The crew suspected of murdering McCormack is closely linked to 'Jay' O'Connor and a veteran Clondalkin-based criminal who has long-standing links to the Kinahan cartel.

It emerged last night that there was a €40,000 bounty on McCormack's head, which was offered up when the cartel became aware of his threats.

When the thug failed to return to his west Dublin home in the early of hours of Saturday, there were major concerns about his safety.

This led to a tense situation at the chief suspect's house when a close female associate of the then missing man arrived at the property and made inquries about McCormack's whereabouts, only to be instructed to leave by a woman in the property.

"Get out of my bleedin' garden. We have no information on Kane McCormack," she is alleged to have said.

Gardai last night confirmed that they were aware of the stand-off in the garden of a house.

Just minutes later, McCormack's close female pal went to Blanchardstown Garda Station where she reported him missing, just two hours before his body was found in a ditch.

Investigators have established that McCormack parked his silver Peugeot 307 car with a 04 D registration in the car park of Aldi in Clonee on Friday afternoon.

CCTV footage shows him getting into a dark saloon car which was then driven out of the car park and turned right towards Dunboyne.

At around 6pm gardai responded to a call about a car being on fire at Meakstown Cottages, near Ballymun.

On investigation, this car was discovered to have been a black Audi.

Gardai are trying to establish if the car found ablaze was the same car that picked up McCormack in Clonee.

The risk of a hit attempt on his life from the Kinahan mob was considered so great that, on appearing in court last month, his solicitor asked that his next court date not be read out due to the "threat on his life".

He was facing ammunition charges after he was allegedly caught with 50 rounds of .32 ammunition after detectives stopped and searched a car in west Dublin last November.

McCormack was well known to gardai and had links to the Hutch gang, as well as other dangerous criminals in the city's drugs trade.

Gardai believe McCormack was hiding out in a caravan owned by crime figure Cornelius Price in recent months.

McCormack, originally from Clonee, Co Meath, survived a hit attempt earlier this year, after which gardai provided him with security advice.

On that occasion, McCormack had been stalked for several days by a Kinahan death squad before gardai staged a dramatic intervention moments before the hit was due to be carried out.

That hit attempt was ordered after the cartel became aware McCormack had been spending a lot of his time at a house in the Ballyfermot area.

Gardai believe the hitmen were on their way to murder McCormack when they were intercepted by armed officers.

Speaking at Ashbourne Garda Station yesterday, Superintendent James Cannon appealed to anyone who was in Clonee village, particularly in the Aldi car park at or around 5pm on Friday evening and who may have noticed either of the vehicles described, to contact gardai.

McCormack's father, Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan, was a close friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

The 62-year-old was sitting in a car outside his house in St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, on December 22 when he was shot several times. He was the 10th person to die in the Hutch/ Kinahan feud.

His partner was in the passenger seat but was not injured in the shooting.

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