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Minister to express 'outrage' to UK over Kinahan role in big fight deal

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Junior Minister Brendan Griffin told the Dáil last night that he would be contacting the British government and broadcasters Sky and BT to express “outrage” over the involvement of notorious gangster Kinahan. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Junior Minister Brendan Griffin told the Dáil last night that he would be contacting the British government and broadcasters Sky and BT to express “outrage” over the involvement of notorious gangster Kinahan. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Junior Minister Brendan Griffin told the Dáil last night that he would be contacting the British government and broadcasters Sky and BT to express “outrage” over the involvement of notorious gangster Kinahan. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Gang boss Daniel Kinahan's involvement in a blockbuster boxing showdown is to be the subject of a protest by the Government to broadcasters and British ministers.

Kinahan is reported to have brokered a two-fight deal between world heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

But Junior Minister Brendan Griffin told the Dáil last night that he would be contacting the British government and broadcasters Sky and BT to express "outrage" over the involvement of notorious gangster Kinahan.

Venues and dates for the showdowns between the two English fighters have yet to be decided. But Mr Griffin said he had been "absolutely appalled" to see what had surfaced about Kinahan's alleged part in the deal.

"I have today asked officials in my department (of Transport, Tourism and Sport) to draft letters to my counterpart in the UK; also to the broadcasters, Sky and BT, to express our outrage about this situation. It's completely unacceptable," said Mr Griffin.

"And my heart goes out to the decent volunteers and participants in boxing around the country who give so much time and effort.

"Sport Ireland has no connection with professional boxing, but they want to emphasise that in relation to amateur boxing in this country, there is no question whatsoever of any link to criminality.

"I think the danger is here that the reputation of Irish boxing would be tarnished because of this incident, and that's grossly unfair to the huge number of people who do great work."

His comments were echoed by Sports Minister Shane Ross, who highlighted the "unparalleled" work of amateur boxing volunteers for communities.

"It would be absolutely wrong - tragic - if their name was sullied by activities which are completely and utterly unacceptable," Mr Ross said.

It comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Department of Foreign Affairs had been in contact with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities about Kinahan after he was praised by Fury. Mr Varadkar said he was "taken aback" to see the 42-year-old crime boss, who is based in the UAE, name-checked by the boxer.

Fury thanked Kinahan for brokering the fight with Joshua in a video posted on social media.

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said: "There's an individual who according to the High Court is a very senior figure in organised crime and according to CAB has controlled and managed operations of the Kinahan organised crime group for some time.

"He's now rebranded himself in the Middle East as a boxing promoter.

"We have to, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, intervene with the UAE in relation to this individual."

Irish Independent