Target of Dublin hit has survived six previous murder attempts

Arrested men believed to be members of the Kinahan gang

Gardaí had prior knowledge of two suspects’  intentions when the heavily armed Emergency Response Unit stopped their van on the Kylemore Road in Ballyfermot on Monday night. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gardaí had prior knowledge of two suspects’ intentions when the heavily armed Emergency Response Unit stopped their van on the Kylemore Road in Ballyfermot on Monday night. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The two associates of the Kinahan crime gang who were arrested on Monday night with a loaded firearm were on the way to kill a man who had survived six previous murder attempts, gardaí believe.

Gardaí had prior knowledge of the men’s movements and intentions when the heavily armed Emergency Response Unit stopped their van on the Kylemore Road in Ballyfermot at about 8pm.

The men’s target had been recently warned by gardaí that his life was in danger. He was an associate of the gang who recently fell out with senior members, gardaí believe.

Inside the van, gardaí found a loaded handgun and a can of petrol. The two men, believed to be low-level gang members, were wearing gloves and camouflage clothing.

Movements monitored

The Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau is overseeing a large operation which had been monitoring the movements of the men for some time.

Detectives believe the men were on their way to shoot dead the fellow member of the Kinahan gang as part of an internal feud.

The incident is not thought to be related to the Hutch-Kinahan feud centred in Dublin’s north inner city which has claimed 12 lives so far.

The two arrested men, aged 34 and 38, were from Ballyfermot and were on their way to their target in Crumlin when they were stopped.

The men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and are being questioned in Crumlin Garda station, where they can be held for up to a week before being charged or released.

Blast-proof doors

The men’s intended target lives in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area in a heavily fortified house fitted with blast-proof doors and bullet-proof windows. There have been several attempts on his life in recent years and gardaí recently issued him a warning that his life was in danger.

On Tuesday, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan praised the Garda units involved and said they had saved a person’s life.

“The decisive action taken by An Garda Síochána on Monday has undoubtedly prevented further loss of life, and I commend the courage and determination of the Garda members involved in the operation.

“The outcome demonstrates the effectiveness of the relentless efforts of An Garda Síochána in tackling the menace of organised crime gangs.

“No-one should underestimate the scale of the challenge which An Garda Síochána face[s], or the time it may take to put particular gangs out of business.

“But, however long it takes, those involved in such gangs will come to realise that no-one is above the law. The Government will continue to fully support An Garda Síochána in their crucial work.”