Garda tells Kinahan, Hutch gangs ‘murders solve nothing’

Extra Garda patrols were in place close to Sunset House pub when killers struck

Organised groups involved in a gun feud that is claiming lives faster than any other dispute in the history of gangland criminality need to reflect on what they think they are achieving, the Garda officer overseeing all of the force’s specialist units has said.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney said while he and his colleagues were keeping an open mind and following every lead in their inquiries into the recent fatal shootings, he accepted there was public concern about the violence.

“Of course we would appeal to everybody to take stock and see that one life after another is not going to solve anything,” he said when asked if he would make any appeal to both sides in the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

It claimed its sixth life in just seven months on Monday night when two armed and masked men walked into the Sunset House, Summerhill Parade, Dublin 1, and opened fire killing Michael Barr (35).


The murder of the Tyrone man, a dissident republican linked to the Hutch faction and who worked in the pub, is believed to have been carried out by the Kinahan gang. Its prime target was a member of the Hutch family who was in the pub at the time but escaped uninjured out a side door.

Barr’s killing now means six people have lost their lives in the feud; four on the Hutch side, one on the Kinahan side and bystander Martin O’Rourke. The 24-year-old was shot dead in a botched Kinahan attack on the Hutches on Sheriff Street two weeks ago.

No way linked

Just over two hours after Barr was shot dead on Monday night, across Dublin petty criminal

Thomas Farnan

(37) was gunned down at his home on Kilcronan Close,


, when he went to answer the front door to a caller.

His murder was in no way linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

But coming as it did so quickly after Barr’s killing in the north inner city, it has heaped pressure on the Garda to address the general surge in fatal shootings since the start of the year. At a press briefing in Dublin yesterday a team of senior officers was made available to the media and insisted the public should be assured the force was continuing armed and high-visibility patrols in feud hotspots.

It emerged one such patrol was on duty “around the corner” from the Sunset House when the killers struck.


“I think it’s indicative of the challenge that we are facing; that people are willing to go and commit a crime of this nature despite the close presence of armed gardaí,” said the assistant commissioner.

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said the force accepted there was public concern about the series of shootings but the violence "would only strengthen the resolve" of the Garda. "We are certainly concerned at the extent of the deaths that have occurred," he said.

Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan, who is in charge of policing in Dublin, said the additional armed checkpoints and mobile patrols put in place earlier in the year remained. Supt Dan Flavin, who is leading the investigation into the Barr murder, said at least three men were involved.

At about 9.30pm two masked attackers walked into the pub and shot dead Barr before running to a waiting silver Audi A6 car, registration number 04 C 17738.

The getaway vehicle was driven through Ballybough and on to Walsh Road in Drumcondra where it was abandoned and burned out. The three attackers then sped off in another car, possibly a silver saloon.

In the case of Farnan’s shooting in Clondalkin, a lone gunman dressed in black tracksuit and black trainers and possibly wearing a balaclava escaped the scene on foot and ran down towards the nearby Grand Canal.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times