Garda believe Kinahan’s efforts to rebrand himself have backfired

Daniel Kinahan’s foray into pro boxing has ‘red-flagged’ him internationally

An announcement suggesting drugs gang leader Daniel Kinahan had lost his position advising and arranging fights for Tyson Fury would ensure the heavyweight boxer's earnings were not impacted, Garda officers believe.

However, members of the Garda also believe Kinahan’s efforts to rebrand himself as a pro boxing deal-maker had backfired and had also undermined his position both in the sport and in the underworld.

While the 42-year-old Dubliner has been living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), whose police and criminal justice authorities have been slow to aid the Garda, some security sources in Dublin believe Kinahan has "red-flagged himself" internationally.

“He’s tried to relaunch himself as a key figure at the top of pro boxing but really he’s only brought a lot of attention on himself internationally; the wrong sort of attention,” one senior officer told The Irish Times, of recent coverage in British and US media detailing court cases linking Kinahan to the Kinahan organised crime group.


Gardaí are now hopeful the authorities in the UAE may become less tolerant of Kinahan’s presence there and more co-operative with the work of investigators in Ireland.

The High Court and Special Criminal Court have both accepted Garda evidence stating Kinahan was the leader of the Kinahan organised crime group which trafficked drugs and guns.

The Special Criminal Court accepted Garda evidence the Kinahan crime group was involved in execution-style murders in the context of feuding.

Kinahan has acted as an adviser to Tyson Fury for the past three years.

The week before last, Fury thanked Kinahan for arranging a two-fight deal next year under which he would face Anthony Joshua.

He described the deal as the biggest in British boxing history, adding Kinahan had gotten the deal “over the line”.

Media coverage

A number of Irish and British politicians, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, immediately expressed concern about Kinahan’s emergence as a public figure in boxing and his efforts over a number of months to rebrand himself.

Significant media coverage followed, linking Kinahan to organised crime.

Yesterday the Telegraph newspaper in Britain published an interview with Fury’s boxing promoter, Bob Arum, who said Kinahan would no longer be involved in negotiations when Fury’s fights were being arranged.

Arum added that his own company, Top Rank, and Fury himself would make the deals, but added they both still “love, admire and respect” Kinahan.

“Both Tyson and I have each discussed this with Dan and he is amenable and satisfied and wished us luck. He only wants the best for Tyson Fury,” Arum said.

In recent months an online book was published as well as a rap video and an online documentary, all suggesting Kinahan was a legitimate businessman who was the victim of a conspiracy by the Garda and the Government in Ireland.

In the weeks after that content was published it was announced Kinahan was working for KHK Sport, founded by a member of the Bahraini royal family, that he had brokered a deal between KHK Sport and MTK Global, had arranged a summit in Bahrain about the future of pro boxing and that he had also arranged the two-fight deal between Fury and Joshua.

However, just last week KHK Sports asked the Bahraini government to issue a statement explaining the firm had now parted company with Kinahan, just weeks after his role was announced.

While Garda sources say Kinahan remains a significant figure in pro boxing, the fact he had been publicly distanced by KHK Sport and now distanced from working for Fury was clear evidence his efforts to emerge as a public figure of some note in professional boxing were failing.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times