Friday 20 April 2018

Kinahan associate arrested at airport is key suspect in innocent man's murder

Gardai arrest the senior Kinahan cartel member at Dublin Airport
Gardai arrest the senior Kinahan cartel member at Dublin Airport

Ken Foy

The 36-year-old gangster arrested at Dublin Airport for allegedly conspiring to murder James 'Mago' Gately is also suspected of being involved in the murder of innocent Dean Johnson in August 2013.

The tragic 21-year-old was killed as part of a dispute that the now-arrested gang boss was the centre of four years ago.

Mr Johnson was not involved in crime and it quickly emerged that the intended target of his murder was the now-jailed Clondalkin hood James 'Nellie' Walsh (31), who escaped unharmed in the shocking incident.

It can now be revealed that gardai suspect 'Nellie' planned to murder the man arrested at Dublin Airport in the months after the shooting of Mr Johnson in a diabolical revenge plot, in which four of his enemies were to be shot dead at the same time on the same night.

Dean Johnson
Dean Johnson

'Nellie', who is serving 10 years for the botched murder of top gangland target Michael Frazer, became a player in the west Dublin crime scene more than four years ago and got involved in a bitter dispute with a Clondalkin mob with close links to the Kinahan cartel.


The Clondalkin mob is led by the 36-year-old arrested on Sunday evening.

As the dispute intensified, his gang attempted to murder 'Nellie' in the early hours of August 24, 2013, at Harelawn Green in Clondalkin.

James Gately
James Gately

However, instead of shooting the criminal, Mr Johnson - who had been socialising with the mobster earlier - was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.

Sources revealed that this infuriated 'Nellie' and his gang, who decided to take revenge on the rival mob. Within five days, cartel-linked criminal Jason 'Jay' Carroll (39) was fatally shot at his home at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin.

It later emerged that gangsters close to Carroll, including the man arrested in the airport, had raised more than €100,000 to have 'Nellie' shot dead.

By this stage, 'Nellie' was forced to live in a network of safe houses in the midlands, Newry and Dublin, but the volatile gangster still regularly took to social media to abuse his criminal rivals in bizarre rants.

However, this ended with his arrest and imprisonment for the botched Frazer murder bid.

The Clondalkin criminal remained in garda custody last night at Irishtown Garda Station, where he was being quizzed about a conspiracy to murder Kinahan cartel target James 'Mago' Gately.

His arrest has provided confirmation that the ruthless west Dublin drugs gang that he is suspected of leading has been working hand-in-hand with the Kinahan cartel.

The Clondalkin gangster, who has barely any previous criminal convictions, is suspected of playing a major role in the sinister plot to murder Gately, which is separate to the attempted murder on 'Mago' in north Dublin in May.

The burly alleged gang boss was arrested by almost a dozen gardai at 7.15pm on Sunday, after entering the arrivals hall of the airport when he got off a flight from Malta.

It is understood the father-of-three was returning from a lavish holiday with his wife on the Mediterranean island when armed gardai pounced.

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