herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Armed gardai to watch over 'Kingsize' funeral

Crime

Noel Duggan
Noel Duggan

An armed garda presence is expected at the funeral today of Ireland's most recent gangland victim.

Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan (58) will be buried following a service at the Holy Trinity Church in Ratoath, Co Meath, at 11am.

His family held a wake at his home over the weekend.

Armed officers will monitor today's funeral in light of the feud between the Kinahan cartel and associates of murdered gangster Gary Hutch. It has so far claimed four lives.

However, the security operation in place for Duggan's funeral will not be of the same scale as when feud victims David Byrne (34) and Eddie Hutch Snr (59) were buried.

Duggan - nicknamed Kingsize because of his history of cigarette smuggling - was shot dead as he sat in his car last Wednesday night outside his home in Ratoath.

The veteran criminal was a close friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

Speaking to the Herald following the murder, a relative of Duggan said the family were living in fear and called for no retaliation.

"Since this shooting, the family are terrified that they will become targets as well, but they want to make it clear that they want no revenge for this," the relative said.

Sources said Duggan had returned to Ireland in the days before his killing after spending time in Britain.

It is understood he feared for his life because he believed the cartel would target him, which prompted him to spend time abroad.

Gardai are investigating whether the hit team that gunned down Duggan were the same criminals used by the Kinahan outfit in the murder of Eddie Hutch.

Threats

Two of the men suspected of shooting him were formally warned that there are credible threats against their lives following the murder.

Taxi driver Hutch was shot dead at his Ballybough home in Dublin's north inner-city on February 8.

It was a direct retaliatory attack for the Regency Hotel assault that occurred three days earlier.

A six-man hit team stormed the hotel as a boxing weigh-in was taking place.

Criminal David Byrne was shot dead during the attack while two other men - Sean McGovern (30) and Adam Bugler (25) - were injured.

However, the killers' main target, Spain-based Daniel Kinahan (37), managed to escape unharmed.

Kinahan, who heads up the cartel, had been in the function room where the weigh-in took place for most of the afternoon.

However, he left the event only minutes before hooded gunmen armed with assault rifles and handguns stormed the building.

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