Thursday 22 February 2018

Latest gangland victim 'stalked on Facebook by killers'

  • Killers monitoring social media activity
  • Victim's 'new job' post may have sealed his fate
  • Shot in the early hours of yesterday in underground car park
  • Shooting is latest killing linked to deadly Kinahan/Hutch feud
  • Michael Keogh (37) was a 'soft target'
Victim Michael Keogh and the car (featuring false plates) that was discovered burnt out
Victim Michael Keogh and the car (featuring false plates) that was discovered burnt out

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

The killers of the country's latest gangland feud victim were monitoring his social media activity to discover his movements in the days before the killing.

Michael Keogh (37) was gunned down in the early hours of yesterday in the underground car park of the Sheridan Court flat complex on Dublin's Dorset Street where he lived.

The shooting is the latest killing linked to the deadly Kinahan/Hutch feud which has now claimed 12 lives.

It is believed his killers targeted Keogh as he was on his way to work. The victim had posted on Facebook early on Tuesday morning about starting a new job.

"New job new start hopefully all goes well," Keogh wrote.

Gardai believe Keogh, who was shot a number of times in the head and the body, was targeted in a revenge attack for the murder of Gareth Hutch on May 24 last year, as well the feud murder of Michael Barr a month earlier.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

While Keogh has never been arrested in relation to either murder, an associate of his is the suspected gunman in the Hutch murder as well as having "active involvement" in the killing of Barr at the Sunset House pub in April 2016.

Gardaí confirmed last night they are investigating if his Facebook post alerted his killers to the fact he was going to work at around 6am yesterday, when he was ambushed in the underground car park.

The chief suspects for the murder of Keogh are the Hutch gang but the involvement of dissident Republicans intent on avenging the murder of Barr has not been ruled out.

"Mr Keogh was a soft target, he may even have helped his killers with that social media post about his job," a source said last night.

A forensics officer removes a body from the scene on Dorset Street in Dublin. Photo: Collins Dublin
A forensics officer removes a body from the scene on Dorset Street in Dublin. Photo: Collins Dublin

"It is his associate who gardaí want to question about those two feud murders, but Mr Keogh may certainly have had some knowledge of them," the source added.

Father-of-two Keogh had just started a new job in construction. While not considered a major criminal, he was linked to the so-called New INLA faction which has aligned itself with the Kinahan cartel.

Keogh was found in his car in the car park by a council worker shortly before 10am.

A car was found burnt-out on Clonliffe Avenue at 7.30am and a handgun with an attached silencer was found in this vehicle, which gardaí believe was used as the getaway car. It is believed he was shot shortly before this but an exact time is not known.

The car, a grey Opel Astra, registration number 12D 16387, was stolen in the Dublin area in April. Its number plates had been replaced and were fake.

Keogh was the brother of notorious INLA bomb-maker Jonathan Keogh (32), who has been on the run for over a year.

It is thought Michael Keogh may have visited him abroad a number of weeks ago.

Gardaí have not ruled out the possibility Michael Keogh was involved in one or more of five attacks against cars of Hutch family members last week.

These attacks led to a huge increase in tensions in the deadly feud which has now claimed 12 lives. There are now fears of revenge attacks by the Kinahan cartel following his murder yesterday.

The murder is being treated as the first carried out by the Hutch gang since the Regency Hotel bloodbath in February 2016, which escalated the feud.

"The feeling is that the cartel will strike back in a very severe way for this and more murders are expected even within the next few days," a senior source said. "The situation is extremely volatile."

Fears of further violence have been heightened by the release of Hutch associate James 'Mago' Gately (30) from hospital.

He spent over a fortnight in hospital after he was the victim of a drive-by shooting at the Topaz petrol station on the N32, in Ballymun, on Wednesday, May 10.

Garda have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Irish Independent

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