State has contacted UAE about Daniel Kinahan’s involvement in Fury-Joshua fight

Varadkar says he was ‘taken aback’ by video in which Tyson Fury thanked Irish crime boss

Daniel Kinahan has helped broker a title fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. File photograph: Collins

Daniel Kinahan has helped broker a title fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. File photograph: Collins

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been in contact with authorities in the United Arab Emirates about organised crime boss Daniel Kinahan’s involvement in the proposed boxing match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Labour leader Alan Kelly: “I can certainly assure you there has been contact between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the authorities in the United Arab Emirates about that matter.”

Mr Kelly, who did not directly name Daniel Kinahan, the Irish crime boss turned boxing promoter who has relocated to Dubai, had told Mr Varadkar: “Taoiseach, our country has to intervene here.”

The Labour leader said that “there’s an individual from our country who according to the High Court is a very senior figure in organised crime on a global scale, and according to Cab has controlled and managed operations of the Kinahan organised crime group for some time.

“He’s now rebranded himself in the Middle East as a boxing promoter and one of the most famous individuals involved in that has described him as a smart, able and honest man.”

Calling for intervention on this issue, the Tipperary TD said that “we also need to communicate very strongly to certain sports broadcasters and sports companies, other companies involved in this.

“This is an important juncture and I would ask you through the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to highlight how important this is for us because of the parasitical criminal activities of this individual and all associated with him.”

Fury video

Mr Varadkar said: “I don’t want to say too much about it but I have to say I was rather taken aback to see Tyson Fury and his video the other day and just dropping in that name that you mentioned as if this was not somebody who has quite a chequered history in this State and elsewhere.”

Mr Fury in a social media message had expressed his thanks for Mr Kinahan’s role in brokering the highly lucrative heavyweight world title fight, which is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia next year.

Mr Varadkar added: “While I can’t comment on any particular Garda operation I can certainly assure you there has been contact between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the authorities in the United Arab Emirates about that matter.”