Arrested men may be ‘directly involved’ in gangland murders

Trio were detained last week in connection with the deadly Kinahan-Hutch feud

The scene following the fatal shooting of David Byrne (34) at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The scene following the fatal shooting of David Byrne (34) at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Gardaí investigating a gangland feud that has claimed five lives in gun attacks since the start of the year were last night still questioning a suspect about one of the murders.

A total of four Dublin men were arrested last week in two separate operations targeting those suspected of the murder of David Byrne (33), of Crumlin, Dublin, and Eddie Hutch (58), from the north inner city.

The two men detained in relation to Mr Hutch’s shooting are suspected of “direct involvement” in his murder, according to Garda sources. However, of the two arrests made by detectives investigating the killing of gangland figure Byrne, only one of the suspects is believed to have been directly involved.

The man arrested with him was driving the car the suspect was in as a passenger when gardaí pursued and stopped it on Friday night.

Crime factions

Last September, the Irish crime gang led from Spain by Christy Kinahan shot dead Gary Hutch in Spain after accusing him of supplying information to the police.

Then, when gunmen stormed into a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin on February 5th and shot dead Kinahan gang member Byrne and wounded two others, Gary Hutch’s associates emerged as the suspects.

Mr Byrne’s associates hit back three days later, shooting dead Gary Hutch’s uncle Eddie Hutch at his home on Poplar Row. He was murdered not because of any involvement in gang crime, but simply because he was related to Gary Hutch.

Since then another three men have been murdered, one in Meath and two in Dublin, as part of what has become known as the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

In the case of Mr Byrne’s murder at the hotel, members of the media were outside the weigh-in to photograph known criminals expected to be present.

Car chase

He was detained under section 50 of the Offences Against the State Act and taken for questioning to Ballymun Garda station. He was the only one of the four detained last week still being held last night.

The car he was travelling in was stopped on Malahide Road close to the M50 after a pursuit.

Separately, the two men arrested last Wednesday in connection with Eddie Hutch’s murder are believed to have been among the four-man group that killed him.

They were questioned at Dublin’s Bridewell and Mountjoy Garda stations last week but have since been released.

One of those men is suspected of involvement in a number of gangland killings, both as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud and predating it.