Gardaí fear up to 10 at risk of being slain by Kinahans

Gang understood to be seeking revenge on all those implicated in the Regency murder

Gardaí believe the lives of up to 10 close associates of murdered gangland figure Gary Hutch are at immediate risk as the Kinahan gang seeks retaliation for alleged plots to kill some of its members.

Senior officers last night conceded that gardaí in Dublin city faced growing pressure from the actions of the Kinahan gang, after it shot dead its fifth victim yesterday morning.

Gareth Hutch (35), a father of one, was killed close to his flat at Avondale House, North Cumberland Street, Dublin 1.

A taxi driver, he had previously been charged in connection with an armed robbery in which an accomplice was shot dead by a garda but he was not regarded as a major gang figure. He is the third member of the extended Hutch family to lose his life to the feud.



Gardaí are investigating reports that the killers were pursued by some of Hutch’s relatives as they fled the murder scene yesterday. A 29-year-old man arrested by gardaí was being detained under the provisions of section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act at Mountjoy Garda station last night. He is believed to have presented himself for questioning.

Assistant commissioner Jack Nolan described the killings as an "outrageous event" and "extremely worrying for An Garda Síochána". He defended the Garda's record in increasing security in the area after a series of shootings in the north inner city, saying armed checkpoints would continue, but gardaí "cannot be everywhere". An armed checkpoint at Mountjoy Square close to the murder scene at about the time of the killing, just after 10am, proved no deterrent for the two killers.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who is to visit the area at the request of local Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan, said the recent violence was “a vicious, murderous” dispute between two families.

He told the Dáil: “I don’t think I can stop that. But I think, from the Government point of view, we can provide the resources and the wherewithal that the Garda Commissioner needs to have her forces deal with this in the way they have to.’’

Garda sources said they expected a number of men to be before the courts “very soon” to be charged with some of the recent murders. However, the whereabouts of many of those involved on both sides of the dispute was unknown.

The man killed yesterday was a cousin of Gary Hutch (34), whose murder in Spain last September at the hands of his former associates in the drugs gang led by Christy Kinahan, began the feud which has now claimed seven lives.

Avenged death

The first man shot dead in


was Kinahan gang member

David Byrne

(33), in the


Hotel in February. His associates have now avenged his death with five murders in the intervening 3½ months. Of the seven murders to date in the feud, Kinahan’s gang has been responsible for six.

A number of men close to Byrne, who have amassed considerable wealth from drug dealing as part of the Kinahan gang, are based mainly in Dublin.

According to informed sources, they have used fellow criminals as informants and have effectively carried out their own investigation into Byrne's murder. They believe up to 15 men were involved in the planning of the murder at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, and its execution on the day.

One source said: “It seems outlandish [the Kinahan gang] would want to kill 10 or maybe 15 people, but five are gone already and we really may only be at the start of this.”

Other senior officers said they found it impossible to see the violence ending, saying the Kinahan gang had resources to fund contract killings.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times