Wednesday 21 February 2018

Kinahan gang plans retaliation after Regency hotel murder at ‘war summit’ in inner-city pub

Gardaí backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit stop motorists at a checkpoint in Cork Street, Dublin, inset members of the gang
Gardaí backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit stop motorists at a checkpoint in Cork Street, Dublin, inset members of the gang
Gardaí backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit stop motorists at a checkpoint in Cork Street, Dublin, as part of the investigation. Photo: Arthur Carron
David Byrne
Sean McGovern and David Byrne (right)

Ken Foy

Senior members of the Christy Kinahan cartel held a “war summit” at a south inner city pub on Saturday night.

It is understood the stunned gangsters were discussing what to do next after the brutal murder of key gang member David Byrne (34) on Friday afternoon.

The pub meeting in Dublin 8 was attended by David’s brother Liam Byrne as well as Daniel Kinahan, who was the chief target of the hotel bloodbath but escaped uninjured.

Also in attendance were convicted heroin trafficker Greg Lynch, Tallaght crime lord Paul Rice and Byrne’s cousin ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson, who flew back into Dublin from Amsterdam on Friday night.

Sean McGovern and David Byrne (right)
Sean McGovern and David Byrne (right)

Sources say that a number of cartel bodyguards were inside and outside the pub when the meeting took place.

Read more: Continuity IRA claims it is responsible for boxing weigh-in murder

A number of other senior criminals, including Byrne’s brother-in-law Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh are also back in the capital but were not at the meeting as the cartel goes on a war footing.

It is understood that the cartel wants “rapid retaliation” against the north inner city gang, who they have been feuding with since the murder of Gary Hutch in Spain last September.

A total of six gunmen launched the planned assassination at The Regency Hotel.

One of the gunmen was dressed as a woman with a blonde wig and boots, while another dressed casually in a tracksuit and flat cap.

Two other gunmen – armed with AK-47s – were disguised as gardai from the Emergency Response Unit, and a fifth drove the getaway van.

Close associates of slain mobster Hutch are the chief suspects in the outrage in which David Byrne was shot dead and his pals Sean McGovern (30) and Aaron Bolger (25) were injured.

It has also emerged that the intended targets of the attack, members of the Christy Kinahan international crime syndicate, have placed a murder contract on the head of crime boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

“There is already information circulating in the underworld that a contract has been placed on The Monk’s head to get back at the killers,” the source added.

However, because of the increased armed garda presence in the capital, it is not expected that there will be another murder until after Byrne’s funeral, which may take place later this week.

There have been no arrests in relation to the gun attack but a number of properties in the north inner city have been raided by gardai investigating the murder.

It is believed that some of the six-man gang responsible fled the country within hours of the shooting but most of the suspects are still in Ireland.

There has been widespread surprise that there was no garda presence at the weigh-in at the Regency Hotel and gardai admitted that they had no intelligence that an attack was to take place there.

This is despite the fact that garda headquarters has been aware of mounting tensions between the two factions since Gary Hutch’s slaying and there was the attempted murder of gangster Liam Roe on the previous occasion that the Kinahan cartel were out in force in October.

Detectives had been working on the theory that an attack was more likely on Saturday night when the MGM boxing bout was due to take place at the National Stadium on Dublin’s South Circular Road.

It is believed that the murder team considered the logistics of carrying out such an attack to be too complicated.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

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

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News