Suspected mob boss Daniel Kinahan has denied issuing threats to journalists after a member of the BBC Panorama team involved in an investigative documentary on him were informed of a threat to their safety.
The 43-year-old has also said that he continues to be involved in “planning multiple record-breaking and exciting world title fights” and that he has helped stage up to a dozen to date.
In a lengthy statement he hit out at the non-jury Special Criminal Court, denied being part of a criminal gang, and said that he will “continue to always choose love and choose God” in his life.
It follows an expose by BBC Panorama last week in which Kinahan’s links to organised crime and boxing were highlighted. After the programme aired it emerged that a journalist involved in the production had been issued with a threat.
This morning Daniel Kinahan denied ever threatening a reporter, or getting someone to do it on his behalf, and said that he has “full respect for journalism”.
Kinahan, described in the Irish High Court as the leader of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, also said that his success in boxing has led to an increase in “the campaign” against him.
In a statement to talkSPORT he said: “Pretty much anything can be said about me, or inferred about me, and it goes unchallenged and is sadly believed.
“Last week it was inferred that I had threatened a reporter. Let me be clear on this point before I address the other allegations against me.
“I have full respect for journalism. I have worked with journalists and I value their role. Journalists should always be free to do their job, free from any threat or harassment. I have never threatened a reporter or journalist or asked anyone to do that for me. I never have and I never would,” he said.
Kinahan described the BBC Panorama programme as a “rehash of unsubstantiated allegations” which are “devoid of evidence or critical analysis”.
The Dubliner stepped back from boxing last June after it emerged he help arrange the Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua bout, but now says he is involved in “multiple” world title fights.
He also hit out at the non-jury Special Criminal Court-which previously found that the Kinahan gang were involved in arms smuggling and murder- and said that it “accepts the word of police officers without question”.
Only last week senior gardaí said they are in the process of dismantling the Kinahan gang who they said are paying large sums of money to fund a “fake news campaign”.
Kinahan, currently domiciled in Dubai, repeated previous comments he made in a statement to the Irish Independent that he has no criminal convictions.
“I can’t be any clearer on the fundamental slur – I am not a part of a criminal gang or any conspiracy. I have no convictions. None. Not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world.”
Having lived in the Oliver Bond flats in the south-inner city in his youth, Kinahan added that he was raised in a deprived area with serious levels of poverty, of crime, of under investment.
“People like me, from there, aren’t expected to do anything with their lives other than serve the middle and upper classes,” he said.
“I have chosen to dedicate my life to my family and my work. I do so every day in good and honest faith. I will continue to always choose love and choose God in my future as I do in my present,” the statement concluded.
Last week’s BBC Panorama programme spoke to several UK boxing insiders who are alarmed about his power and influence, but that most were too afraid to appear on camera.
Former world-champion turned boxing manager Barry McGuigan was the only one who spoke on-the-record and said there was an element of terror around the Kinahan name.
The increased attention on Kinahan comes five years after he survived an attempt on his life when a hit team stormed the Regency Hotel during a boxing weigh-in.
He managed to escape but his associate, David Byrne (33), was shot dead.
In a press briefing last week Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll accepted that gardaí have not yet managed to dismantle the Kinahan crime gang.
However, he added that they were in the process of achieving this through the seizure of cash and drugs as well as convictions.
Gardaí are also continuing to liaise with their international colleagues and have sent members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) to the Middle-East where many of the cartel’s hierarchy are based.
The senior investigator also raised concerns about the vast amounts of money crime gangs, including the cartel, were using to put a “spin” on certain events, and referenced a mini-documentary on the Regency shooting which accused the gardaí and Government of colluding to influence the general election.