Irish underworld examined in hunt for Spanish killers

Gerard Kavanagh had been collecting debts with menaces in Ireland

Dubliner Gerard Kavanagh was gunned down as he sat drinking in an Irish bar on the Costa del Sol near Marbella on Saturday evening

Dubliner Gerard Kavanagh was gunned down as he sat drinking in an Irish bar on the Costa del Sol near Marbella on Saturday evening

 

The investigation into the murder of an Irish criminal in Spain is more focused on those he had clashed with in Ireland than any dispute with foreign criminals.

Dubliner Gerard Kavanagh (44), who was gunned down as he sat drinking in an Irish bar on the Costa del Sol near Marbella on Saturday evening, had been collecting drugs debt in Ireland for the major Irish-led drugs gang he was aligned to in Spain.

The Garda and the Spanish police are trying to establish if he was shot dead at the weekend by two killers hired by the Irish criminal he had attacked.

Garda sources have told The Irish Times he collected outstanding drugs money with threats of extreme violence and had made a large number of enemies in the Republic, especially in Dublin, in recent years.

In one incident last year he targeted a well-known drug dealer in Dublin by attacking him and his family as part of efforts to collect a large outstanding sum of money.

Debt collection

However, sources stressed that career criminals like Kavanagh often lead chaotic lives and that intelligence on any dispute he might have become involved in in Spain of late might not have reached the Garda or Spanish police yet.

The involvement of Spanish criminals or the Russian mafia in Spain has not been completely ruled out.

The fact that he was linked to the Spanish-based drugs gang headed by convicted Dublin drug dealer Christy Kinahan has raised fears that his death will be avenged.

The killers struck at a well- known Irish bar, Harmon’s in Elviria, at about 5pm and shot the Crumlin man nine times, hitting him in the head, arms and upper body. A mobile phone believed to be the dead man’s was found at the scene. It will be examined in an effort to establish if Kavanagh had arranged to meet anyone at the bar.