Wednesday 16 October 2019

Gardaí wary of fragile peace as Kinahan-Hutch feud 'appears to be fizzling out'

'Can't become complacent': Armed gardaí on patrol in Dublin's north inner city. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
'Can't become complacent': Armed gardaí on patrol in Dublin's north inner city. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Garda chiefs are "cautiously optimistic" that the worst of the Kinahan-Hutch feud is now over amid signs it "appears to be fizzling out".

Sources have claimed the intense pressure from the ongoing international Garda- led offensive against the Kinahan cartel has also caused a rift between Daniel Kinahan and his "close and trusted" business partner Liam Byrne.

The murder of David Byrne in the Regency Hotel attack sparked the feud violence which has claimed 16 lives.

Daniel Kinahan is now based in Dubai along with his father, brother and other members of the cartel.

Byrne's organised crime grouping has decamped to Birmingham in the UK.

Rumours of a row between the allies began to circulate recently in underworld circles as gardaí tightened the noose around their organisation including the seizure by CAB of Byrne's luxury home in Crumlin.

One claim is that the rift was caused by the targeting of the gang by several major law enforcement agencies across Europe and South America, including the powerful DEA.

However, senior sources say that while the indications are that a fragile peace may be taking hold, sporadic acts of vandalism have been continuing against the homes and cars of Hutch family members in recent months, so gardaí will not be down-scaling their operations.

"There is a feeling that the worst of the feud has definitely passed and we are cautiously optimistic that it appears to be fizzling out, but this comes with a health warning because there is still a very small hard core of volatile, dangerous individuals," a senior source told the Irish Independent.

"The reason for this peace is that at least 10 hitmen who worked for the Kinahan and Byrne organised crime groups have been forced to leave the country and they are now in the UK, Spain and Dubai.

"The man who organised a lot of the gun attacks and murders is also currently locked up, which means that there is no one here to do Byrne's bidding.

"Taking Freddie Thompson off the street with a life sentence for the murder of Daithi Douglas was also a massive blow to Byrne, but we cannot become complacent."

Led by Assistant Commissioners Pat Leahy and John O'Driscoll, gardaí have been involved in a relentless, multi- pronged offensive against the cartel. The Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, CAB and the crime and security section have had success using informers against the Kinahan organisation and have been using international spy agencies to crack their encrypted communications.

Irish Independent

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