Paul Williams: Hutch murder could be motive for latest gangland attack
The gun rampage in a Dublin hotel yesterday afternoon is a "dramatic and unprecedented escalation" in a simmering feud between two of the country's biggest crime gangs, according to garda sources last night.
David Byrne, a member of a notorious crime family from Crumlin, south Dublin, aligned to the Christy Kinahan international crime syndicate, was shot dead in what is believed to be revenge for the murder of Gary Hutch in Spain last September.
At least two others were also injured when the gunmen - who were dressed as members of the Garda ERU and armed with AK 47 assault rifles - burst in and opened fire at a weigh-in for a boxing match in the National Stadium, which had been due to take place tonight.
Last night detectives were still trying to piece together what has been described as the most audacious gangland attack ever seen in the capital.
Sources say it was clear the gunmen had planned to murder several members of Kinahan's syndicate who were attending the weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra.
And gardaí said there may have been more than two people shot and injured in the attack who fled the hotel amid the pand-emonium that broke out after the shooting.
"This was a very dramatic and audacious attack and it is a miracle that many innocent people, including kids, were not killed or injured. This is an unprecedented escalation of a feud that has now become an all-out war," a source said.
Garda sources believe the gunmen, who wore bullet proof vests and caps with 'Garda ERU' printed on them, had intended to wipe out several members of the international crime organisation controlled by Kinahan, aka the Dapper Don, and his son Daniel.
Daniel Kinahan was in the hotel when the shooting took place but he was unharmed.
The prime suspects for the well-planned attack are believed to be close associates of Gary Hutch, the nephew of the former criminal mastermind Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, who was murdered by the Kinahan mob amid allegations that he was a police informant.
Tensions between the Hutch and Kinahan sides have been mounting steadily over the past five months with members of both gangs going to ground.
It is understood that the Kinahan side had made a number of attempts for a 'sit down' with Hutch's associates including his uncle the Monk, in an effort to resolve the simmering feud but these obviously failed.
Amongst the suspects for yesterday's audacious gun attack will be a hit man from the north inner-city who was one of Gary Hutch's closest pals.
He is the prime suspect for the execution of the notorious killer crime boss Eamon The Don Dunne who was shot dead as he sat in a Cabra pub almost six years ago.