Sunday 19 November 2017

American diplomats warned of Dublin gang feud

An armed garda on the streets after the recent gang violence
An armed garda on the streets after the recent gang violence
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

American diplomats and dignitaries attending the 1916 celebrations in the capital this weekend have been warned they face being caught up in Dublin's bitter gangland feud.

A three-page security document marked "for US private sector security purposes only" provided a detailed briefing on the warring factions of the Hutch and Kinahan gangs.

The alert for the Easter weekend events, obtained by RTÉ, was issued by the Irish branch of the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).

The body is operated by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the US Department of State, which is connected to the US embassy in Dublin.

The document advised the greatest risk of being caught in violence was in Northern Ireland where security services were on high alert fearing a dissident republican attack.

However, it also contained an explicit warning of "additional criminal incidents and assassination attempts related to the recent string of violence are possible".

At least four deaths have so far been linked to the violence: Gary Hutch (34), David Byrne (34), Eddie Hutch Snr (58) and Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan (57).

The threat assessment was circulated to Ireland-based members of the OSAC.

The group is primarily made up of American business people, diplomats and other high-profile US figures working or based in the country.

The threat assessment notes that the Continuity IRA was initially linked to the shooting of three individuals in the Regency Hotel attack. However, it states that the terror group later dismissed any link.

The document also makes specific reference to the "possibly related assassination" of Vincent Ryan, a prominent dissident republican and brother of former RIRA boss Alan Ryan.

According to the document, high-level US dignitaries attending 1916 events are also specifically told to "avoid speaking about events" connected to the celebration of the Rising.

Irish Independent

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