Paul Williams: Kinahan gang thugs clearly hell-bent on wiping out Monk’s entire family
The latest murder in the ongoing Kinahan-Hutch feud was a message from one of the aggressors in this lopsided war: we haven’t gone away, you know.
The assassination of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s nephew, Derek Coakley-Hutch, shows that the Kinahans are still determined to wipe out their former partners in crime.
Gardaí believe that it was the Monk who masterminded the Irish gangland equivalent of the St Valentine’s Day massacre when his mob attempted to wipe out the leadership of the Kinahan organisation at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel two years ago.
While it had been intended to be a gangland ‘spectacular’, the murder of just one of the targets – drug dealer and Kinahan mob associate David Byrne – made it a spectacular miscalculation for which Hutch has paid dearly. So far in this unprecedented feud between two tribes, the Kinahan mob has killed 12 people; the Hutch gang has killed two.
This time two years ago, it would have been unthinkable to even consider that these two underworld men of “respect” would become sworn enemies. But by January 2016, the die had already been cast, and the clock was ticking down to a terrifying bloodbath on the streets of Dublin, which threatened to spiral out of control in the face of a seriously weakened and under-resourced police force.
The final straw came on New Year’s Eve 2015 when two Dublin hit-men walked into a pub in Puerto del Carmen in Tenerife with the intention of assassinating the Monk. On that occasion, the wily underworld veteran had sensed trouble and evaded his would-be killers by slipping away.
But Hutch knew who they were and, more importantly, who had sent them. The murder attempt came on the back of negotiations between the two sides following the killing of Hutch’s nephew Gary in Marbella. The Monk had even sanctioned the payment of a reported €200,000 to Daniel Kinahan on the understanding that his nephew would be allowed to live.
Kinahan reneged on the agreement and the rest is bloody history.
The Kinahan cartel is determined to achieve its goal of wiping out the entire Hutch family.
Today, Hutch, the strong, silent hard man, is broken and literally running for his life. Among the death toll so far are three of his nephews, his brother and two of his closest lifelong friends.
There have also been two entirely innocent men who were gunned down in Dublin and Majorca.
The associates of David Byrne, who was murdered in the Regency attack, have offered a bounty to any criminal who can capture and deliver the Monk.
They have made no secret of their intention to give the once-feared godfather a slow and painful death.
It is now a matter of who gets to Hutch first: the gardaí or the Kinahans.
But things could be an awful lot worse than they currently are. Gardaí quickly got their act together and are in the process of an equally unprecedented counter-offensive which is being fought on several fronts and jurisdictions. Led by Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, the Garda operations against the feuding mobs have seriously disrupted both gangs, with the Kinahans’s international crime cartel being the worst hit. Gardaí have prevented up to 30 murders and charged more than 20 individuals with offences ranging from murder, possession of firearms, drug-trafficking and money-laundering.
They have seized a large arsenal of weapons, drugs worth tens of millions of euro, large sums of cash, and cars and property bought on the proceeds of crime.
Christy Kinahan, his son Daniel, and the rest of the rabble in what was once one of Europe’s top organised crime groupings, are feeling the heat from law enforcement agencies across Europe and as far away as Dubai.
Next month marks the second year of this conflagration but, as the weekend murder has illustrated, this war is far from over.
Paul Williams is the co-presenter of Newstalk Breakfast