Monday 11 December 2017

Hit men who targeted Hutch are identified

Names of masked duo who moved on veteran criminal in Lanzarote now known in gangland

The man is a suspect in the murder of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan who was shot dead outside his home in Ratoath, Co Meath. Photo: Sunday World
The man is a suspect in the murder of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan who was shot dead outside his home in Ratoath, Co Meath. Photo: Sunday World

Paul Williams

The names of two masked hit men who walked into a Spanish bar on New Year's Eve intent on murdering veteran crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch are now known in gangland.

Sources close to the 53-year-old former armed robbery mastermind have told the Sunday Independent that the would-be assassins were identified following the incident in Lanzarote on December 31.

The Sunday Independent has established that the men, who are both in their late 20s with addresses in Cabra and the north inner-city, had travelled to the island with their partners ostensibly for a holiday.

The criminal from Cabra is well known to gardai. He cut his teeth in the gang led by Eamon 'The Don' Dunne who was himself murdered by the Kinahan cartel's associates in 2010.

In the past few years this man has become a more senior player in the cartel's Irish operation which is controlled from the north inner-city and Crumlin. The second man does not feature on the Garda radar as a major player.

The same sources have revealed that the pair had been seen drinking on a number of occasions in the same Irish pub frequented by Gerry Hutch in the days before the murder attempt.

Staff and customers in the bar identified the masked men because they were wearing the exact same clothing they had worn during earlier visits.

Once they had familiarised themselves with the bar and the local area, arrangements were made by the Kinahans' extensive criminal connections to have two handguns delivered to the island.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Sunday Independent has established that Hutch was in the bar with his wife when the two masked men stormed into the premises.

"They didn't see Gerard but he saw them. They had balis (balaclavas) on and each one had their hands inside their jackets holding guns," the source said.

"But they didn't see Gerard and he moved into the background but he knew they were looking for him."

The local police were called but by then the would-be killers had disappeared.

The underworld source said that Hutch conducted his own investigation after the incident on the island where he now lives most of the year.

CCTV footage at a number of local premises is understood to have captured the two Kinahan assassins a short time before they donned masks.

Sources have said that the pair are likely to be targeted as the tit-for-tat violence escalates further.

Ultimately this incident proved to be the final straw after the execution of the Monk's nephew Gary Hutch four months earlier had ignited an unprecedented conflagration between two of gangland's most powerful tribes.

Sources close to the Hutch gang said the incident prompted the dramatic assault by a five-member hit team, armed with handguns and AK 47s, on a boxing weigh-in organised by Daniel Kinahan at the Regency Hotel on February 5.

The plan had been to stage a 'spectacular' by wiping out Kinahan, who has taken control of the international drug cartel from his father Christy 'Dapper Don' Kinahan, and his lieutenants.

However, it proved to be a spectacular failure as the targeted gangsters had left the weigh-in minutes earlier, surviving to fight back. In the attack a key Kinahan associate David Byrne was shot dead and two others injured.

The once close allies and friends, who were considered to be so close that they were perceived as being the same organisation, are now intent on wiping each other out.

But the Hutch side is suffering the most, coming under intense pressure from both the Kinahans and the gardai.

On Wednesday night veteran gangster Noel Duggan, aka Mr Kingsize, The Monk's closest friend and confidante, became the fourth official victim of blood feud when he was shot several times while sitting in a car outside the family home in Ratoath, Co Meath.

Duggan (58), one of the country's biggest tobacco smugglers, was suspected of helping to organise the logistics of the Regency attack by sourcing guns and a hit man from Northern Republican terrorists who were business associates in the smuggling rackets.

The killing spree has been personally devastating for the enigmatic Monk who was considered an untouchable man of respect in the underworld.

In addition to his best pal, the Monk has now lost his older brother Eddie - who was the same age as Duggan and totally innocent - and his nephew.

The Kinahans had reneged on a deal last year in which Hutch paid them €200,000 to guarantee the life of his nephew who had been accused of being an informant.

Then they issued the Hutch with a second ultimatum, demanding a further €200,000 and the departure from Ireland of named family members and associates.

Sunday Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News