Kinahan-Hutch feud has turned into a one-sided wipeout

Out of the seven recent gangland murders, six have been victims from the Hutch side

Gareth Hutch (35) a nephew of Gerry Hutch, also known as The Monk, has been shot dead in a gangland attack in Dublin. The victim had expressed fear for his life to Cllr. Nial Ring hours before he was gunned down. Video: Bryan O'Brien/Ronan McGreevy

 

Billed as a gang war between major rival criminal factions, the Kinahan-Hutch “feud” is much more one-sided than the narrative suggests.

Nine months after the first killing, seven men are dead. And all of those, bar one, can be described as Kinahan-on- Hutch murders.

This is not a feud in any sense of the word.

It is one side wiping out the other, apparently at will and unperturbed about the consequences from those they are attacking or the law.

A well-drilled international crime cartel with a murder and punishment unit enforcing its gun law is intent on snuffing out a comparatively small-time group of robbers from inner city Dublin. And so far the violence is unfolding in the manner anticipated at the outset.

Christy Kinahan – originally from Cabra in Dublin – has created the biggest and most powerful drugs gang the Irish underworld has ever seen. And he has achieved that in the decade and a half since relocating to southern Spain.

He has a property empire throughout continental Europe, the Middle East and into South America.

His two sons – Daniel and Christopher jnr – are heavily involved in crime with him, as are a number of criminal contacts from Dublin.

The gang has dealt in single drugs shipments in the tens of millions and its net worth almost certainly runs into hundreds of millions. It has contacts worldwide and no shortage of money to pay contract killers to do its bidding for them. Some of those have without any doubt been behind some of the recent murders.

Significant gang

CrumlinDavid ByrneRegency

Its hatred for the Hutches is driving the onslaught against the Dublin family. And from Spain Christy Kinahan – divorced from the consequences of the violence he orders back in Dublin – has resources to fund a constant volley of attacks.

Some members of the Hutch family have been involved in organised crime – mostly armed robberies – but are simply without the wherewithal or resources to match the opposition’s ability for repeat violence.

Extreme violence

However, up against the powerful international mafia organisation that the Kinahans have built and run, they are vulnerable. They knew that from the start of the dispute they are now locked into. They also tried desperately to avoid finding themselves in their current predicament.

Best known of them is Gerry Hutch, the middle-aged criminal known as the Monk, who carried out a series of armed robberies in the 1990s.

The problems began for him when some of his brothers’ sons became involved in organised crime.

Gary Hutch, the son of Gerry Hutch’s brother Patsy, has undoubtedly dragged the family into the sights of the Kinahan gunmen. Gary and his brother Derek, also known as Del Boy, had none of Gerry Hutch’s ability to keep for-profit crime at the centre of their activities and avoid at all costs gun feuding that was good for nobody.

Derek Hutch (30) is serving a 10-year jail term for stabbing a man to death after a house party in Ashbourne, Co Meath, on St Stephen’s Day, 2007.

He is also serving 16 years for his role in the attempted armed robbery of a cash-in-transit van in Lucan, Co Dublin, in 2009. One of his accomplices was shot dead by armed gardaí who foiled the raid.

Derek Hutch is also serving a term of imprisonment for firearms offences, having been found with a firearm and wearing two sets of clothes – one to take off after his planned shooting. Garda sources believe had he not been jailed he would have drawn those around him into serious conflict with other criminal elements. In his absence, that job was left to his now deceased brother.

Gary Hutch, like Derek, was involved in drug dealing and armed robbery and it was the drugs trade that brought him into contact with the Kinahan gang, for whom he worked for a time in Dublin. About 10 years ago, while still in his mid-20s, Gary Hutch began spending more time in Spain with some of the Kinahan gang.

In May 2010, with 33 suspected members of the Kinahan gang arrested as part of an international police operation, Gary Hutch was the only gang member detained in Ireland.

He would continue working with the gang after his arrest and release without charge. However, two to three years later relations had soured, with the Kinahan gang accusing him of being a police informer.

In August 2014, when an attempt was made to shoot Daniel Kinahan outside his villa in Spain, the finger of suspicion fell on Gary Hutch.

Intervention

A peace deal was apparently agreed, but only after the Kinahan gang members in Dublin threatened and harassed many of the Hutch family.

A sum of €200,000 was paid to the Kinahans; the cost of peace and of saving Gary Hutch’s life.

Thinking he was safe to return to his home in Spain, having fled under threat, Gary Hutch was shot dead there last September when the Kinahans decided they wanted him dead more that they wanted any peace with the Hutches. Now, nine months on, six more men have died with all but one of the murders carried out by the Kinahan side. All the while the Garda investigations into the murders have continued unabated and are progressing well, if slowly.

Armed checkpoints

The murder of Gareth Hutch yesterday, for example, occurred in the centre of the small north inner city area where most of the Hutches live.Yet the gunmen could get in, murder and get out without encountering any gardaí.

Garda sources insist those who have killed in this dispute will be convicted of murder and imprisoned for life, adding if investigations are to be successful time and care must be taken.

The same officers say that if well-organised killers are determined to take a life they will find a way to succeed, despite the extent of the policing effort on the streets.

And they point to the seizure of firearms and other items – such as balaclavas and helmets used in some of the feud killings – as evidence that the law will catch up with those who think they are in the clear.