Saturday 24 March 2018

Senior Hutch gang member Keith Murtagh survives second murder bid after house shooting

Gardaí investigating if latest attack is linked to Kinahan/Hutch feud

Inset left, Keith Murtagh, inset right, innocent victim Martin O'Rourke
Inset left, Keith Murtagh, inset right, innocent victim Martin O'Rourke
Armed robber Keith Murtagh

Cathal McMahon and Jim Cusack

A senior associate of the Hutch gang has survived a second murder bid after shots were fired through a window in the early hours of this morning.

Keith Murtagh (32) suffered a grazed arm when a gunman opened fire on a house in Cherry Orchard Court, Ballyfermot in West Dublin.

A woman, who was in the house at the time, also suffered minor injuries in the attack.

Gardaí believe that Murtagh was the intended target when a hitman shot dead innocent drug addict Martin O’Rourke last April.

Detectives are now investigating if this latest attack is linked to the ongoing Kinahan/Hutch feud which has already claimed six lives in just eight months.

It is believed that Murtagh, a convicted armed robber, was targeted because of his association with members of the Hutch gang.

Murtagh initially fled to the UK following the shooting of Martin O’Rourke on Sheriff St on April 15.

He has been warned by gardaí that his life is under threat.

Martin O'Rourke
Martin O'Rourke

It is believed that a €100,000 sum has been offered for the killing of Murtagh, which was ordered by a close associate of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne (33).

Murtagh was part of an armed gang which included Derek Hutch that conspired to rob a large sum of money from a cash in transit van in Lucan, Co Dublin, seven years ago.

Gardaí had intelligence about the plan and they moved in as the crime was underway.

Murtagh was wounded and one of his accomplices, Garrett Molloy (27), was shot dead when gardaí opened fire.

Murtagh later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a weapon with intent to endanger life at Foxboro Road, Lucan, on May 15, 2009.

Garda sources in Dublin say there is no end in sight to the feud which was sparked by the Kinahan gang's murder of Gary Hutch (34) in southern Spain last September. This was followed by an attempt to murder Derek Hutch in prison. He was stabbed repeatedly with a home-made knife and only saved by the intervention of prison staff in Mountjoy Prison.

Keith Murtagh has been one of the top targets of the Kinahan gang since the Regency Hotel attack on February 5 in which David Byrne (32), a senior Kinahan gang member, was shot dead.

There is no suggestion that Murtagh was in any way involved in the attack, but it is believed he is being targeted because of his close links to Derek Hutch and other members of the northside gang.

According to Garda sources, the Kinahan gang's representatives, based mainly in the southside of inner city Dublin, are determined to destroy the Hutch gang and its associates.

So far, the Kinahan gang have killed five people in the feud, including Gerry Hutch's brother, Eddie (59), a taxi driver who was not involved in organised crime.

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