Garda raids target suspects for David Byrne murder

Armed checkpoints continue in Dublin amid pressure to quell violence

Armed gardaí from the Emergency Response Unit on patrol in Dublin after the recent gangland murders. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Armed gardaí from the Emergency Response Unit on patrol in Dublin after the recent gangland murders. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

Gardaí investigating the murder of David Byrne in a gangland shooting at a Dublin hotel have carried out a series of searches in the city. Garda checkpoints made up of uniformed gardaí backed by armed detectives and armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) remain in place in parts of the capital in an effort to deter further gun violence.

A team of about 100 Garda members carried out co-ordinated raids on 11 properties at residential addresses and lock-up units from early on Tuesday morning.

Searches were also carried out last week when gardaí targeted members of the gang that father-of- two Byrne (33), from Crumlin, was aligned to and that is suspected of shooting dead Eddie Hutch (58) in Dublin’s north inner city two weeks ago.

A number of premises in Ballybough and Summerhill in the north inner city were searched on Tuesday, with mobile phones and other items, including documents, seized for analysis.

No arrests

However, while the Garda inquiry into Byrne’s murder has identified some of those involved, there were no arrests on Tuesday and none to date in the inquiry. While some of the suspects are now in hiding, perhaps out of the jurisdiction, the same Garda sources said they believed gang members would be charged with the murders in time. Garda sources said the inquiries into the Byrne murder and that of Eddie Hutch would take time, but they expressed satisfaction with progress to date.

During on Tuesday’s raids the home of the suspected armed robber Gerry Hutch, known as “The Monk”, was searched in Clontarf. Hutch has now seen his brother Eddie Hutch and his nephew, Gary Hutch (43), murdered by the drugs gang led from Spain by Dublin drug dealer Christy Kinahan. David Byrne was a member of the Kinahan gang and lost his life when gunmen out to avenge the shooting dead of Gary Hutch in Spain last September shot him.

Last Friday fortnight, five men attacked a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, and wounded three men, David Byrne fatally. The main target of the attack was Christy Kinahan’s son Daniel Kinahan, but while he was present he escaped uninjured.

Four days later, father-of- five Eddie Hutch was gunned down in his home on Portland Row, Dublin 1. A taxi driver, gardaí believe he was not involved in organised crime, but was targeted because he was associated with some men that members of the Kinahan gang believe were behind the attack at the Regency. Gun feud

The tit-for-tat attacks have raised concerns that Gary Hutch’s murder near Marbella last September and the two murders in Dublin in recent weeks represented the start of a volatile gun feud between two major crime gangs.

The Garda is under immense pressure to contain the violence in the run-up to the general election, though some of the Garda representative bodies have sharply criticised the level of resourcing available to the force.

There has also been criticism of the huge Garda operations around the funerals of the men killed recently in Dublin, especially in relation to the David Byrne funeral. Some streets in the area around Francis St, Dublin 8, were closed for a short period to accommodate the movement of a fleet of three hearses and nine limousines.