Convicted armed robber believed to be target of boxing club gun attack

Suspected target was shot in the foot while a male bystander suffered a wound to his hand

 

Gunmen who opened fire outside a boxing tournament in Dublin last night intended to kill a convicted armed robber from the north inner city, gardaí believe.

The motive for the gun attack has not yet been established.

Gardai suspect the shooting may be linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud or perhaps to another dispute within Dublin organised crime.

The intended target who is in his forties was wounded in the foot but survived the attack. A second man, from another country and attending university in Ireland and described as bystander, was caught up in gunfire.

He suffered a gunshot wound to his hand.

Both victims have been treated in St James Hospital and their injuries are not life-threatening. However, gardaí said they are surprised somebody was not killed and more people not injured given the chaotic scenes that unfolded.

The suspected target who has served a number of jail terms for armed robbery, has lived at several addresses in the north inner city. He has had links to criminals who are now on opposing sides of the Kinahan-Hutch feud but is as close to some Hutch family members.

Feud in Ballymum

Some of his associates have also been involved in a feud in Ballymun, north Dublin, which claimed the lives of mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally (48), and Clinton Shannon, a 30-year-old Dubliner, last August.

They were shot dead outside the Corbally family Ballymun home in an attack intended for Ms Corbally’s brother Derek “Bottler” Devoy (38).

He escaped uninjured.

The suspected target in last night’s attack has links to criminals on both sides of the Kinahan-Hutch feud and separately to the feuding factions in Ballymun are being explored as possible motives for the attack on him last night.

If the shooting proves to be related to the Kinahan-Hutch feud it would be the second such gun attack in a week.

Last Saturday Derek Coakley Hutch (27) was shot dead on the Bridgeview halting site as two men he was with were attempting to throw drugs over the wall of the adjoining Cloverhill Prison, west Dublin.

Gardaí in Kevin St station are conducting the investigation into last night’s shooting. The scene has been sealed off for examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau. And the Garda presence around the ongoing boxing event has been stepped up.

On Saturday night, investigating gardaí appealed to members of the public who may have information on the incident or who were in the area between 8pm and 10pm on Friday night to contact Kevin Street Garda station on 01-6669400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111, or any Garda station.

They said they were particularly anxious to speak to anyone who may have seen a black or dark-coloured Lexus car in the area and any drivers who were in the area who have dashcams fitted to their vehicles.

South Circular Road is currently closed from Donore Ave to Leonard’s Corner to facilitate the Garda examination of the scene.

Boxing tournament

An U18 boxing tournament was underway at the National Stadium on the South Circular Road when the attack occurred at about 9.45pm.

Gardaí believe two gunmen were involved.

Each gunman fired several shots at one man outside the stadium and then pursued him on foot for a period. Both attackers then ran to different waiting vehicles which sped from the scene and have since been found burnt out.

A Mercedes was found in the Dunsink area of Finglas in north Dublin while a second, Lexus, car was discovered close by in Ferndale, Glasnevin.

There was considerable panic inside the stadium as the shots were fired. Many people believed the attack had happened in the building and was ongoing, leading to a rush to get to safety.

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) said it was determined its sport would not be interrupted by violence. And the tournament at the National Stadium continued on Saturday.

A young man with links to the Hutch family, who has no involvement in crime, was scheduled to fight at the tournament.

Joe Hennigan, IABA vice president, said the boxing fraternity rejected violence. Mr Hennigan was among those in attendance last night who initially believed shots were being fired inside the stadium.

“All the crowd started running out towards the exit doors; kids roaring and crying, mothers looking for their kids,” he told RTÉ.

“It was a very, very sad night for amateur boxing. We are not into that type of stuff. We work voluntarily; trying to keep kids off the street. “And for something like this to happen; it was a sad night for boxing.

“And I hope whatever happened last night that it is going to end; and not happen again. “But we are continuing on with the boxing because this kind of (violence) is not going to stop us promoting the sport we love.”

Regency attack

Last night was not the first time such scenes have occurred at a boxing event in the city. In February, 2016, a boxing tournament weigh-in in the Regency Hotel, Whitehall, north Dublin, was stormed by a team of gunmen.

On that occasion the killers were seeking out Daniel Kinahan, a boxing promoter and one of the leading figures in the Kinahan drugs cartel.

However, he escaped and one of the gang’s key figures in Dublin - David Byrne (34) from Crumlin - was shot dead. That attack, seen as revenge on the Kinahan gang for its murder of Gary Hutch (35) in Spain the previous September, resulted in an escalation in what has been dubbed the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Video footage of the attack in the Regency Hotel showed panic inside and people rushing to the exits, many with young children, as gunshots rang out and the gunmen searched for Daniel Kinahan.