Wednesday 16 January 2019

Feared criminals offering 'guns for hire' services to Hutch gang

Gardai outside the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra after David Byrne was shot dead
Gardai outside the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra after David Byrne was shot dead
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Two feared criminals from the capital have put themselves forward as 'guns for hire' for the Hutch gang who are currently embroiled in a violent feud with the Kinahan Cartel.

The deadly conflict has so far claimed six lives, and gardaí fear that there will now be a further escalation in violence.

Senior gardaí have also met with acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald over fears of further bloodshed.

It has now emerged that two violent criminals are potential hitmen for the Hutch faction.

The two men were previously linked with senior members of the gang, but so far have had no active involvement in the feud.

The middle-aged men have served lengthy sentences for armed robbery. Sources have described one of the men as a 'gun for hire', while the other man is an enforcer who has previous convictions for firearm related offences.

They have been targeted by elite garda units in the past - and are classed among the most dangerous associates of the north Dublin based gang.

A source revealed how the two men had put themselves forward as guns for hire for the gang.

"Detectives have been well aware of the two individuals since they were released from prison a number of years ago, and it is believed they have offered themselves as guns for hire for the Hutch gang in recent weeks," a source said.

Gardaí now fear that members of the Hutch gang are planning a 'spectacular' revenge attack.

"Only one gang involved in the feud have been carrying out shootings in the last few weeks, with the other gang relatively quiet. It has created a fear that members of the Hutch group are in the planning of something spectacular.

"The Regency could have ended up being a mass killing, had the target not managed to escape," a source said.

Irish Independent

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