herald

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Cartel knocks out CCTV camEra in sinister plot to kill 'Mago'

Hutch mob henchman James ‘Mago’ Gately
Hutch mob henchman James ‘Mago’ Gately

The Kinahan cartel has stepped up its bid to take out top target James 'Mago' Gately.

Gardai have discovered a "sinister" CCTV plot to kill the 30-year-old criminal.

The ruthless Kinahan gang is believed to have been behind an attempt to block a CCTV camera that covers an area used by the Hutch gang enforcer to sneak into his home. Officers suspect it had been covered by thugs who plan to murder the criminal on behalf of the cartel.

Blinded

It has been described by sources as a "sinister development" in the capital's deadly feud that has so far claimed 12 lives. Det- ectives have removed carpet that was covering the city council camera on Dunne Street flats in the capital's north inner city.

Sources said that gardai are investigating whether the camera had been 'blinded' by junior associates of the cartel, who are understood to be planning another murder attempt on Gately.

While Gately is believed to be hiding out in Northern Ireland after surviving an assassination attempt in May, he previously used the flat complex as a "safe passage" to his family home in the Portland Row area.

The camera that was covered focuses on the route he takes when visiting his home, said sources. It is one of many cameras in the area but the only one that has been targeted.

"The interference with that camera is being viewed as a sinister development," said a source last night. "As soon as gardai were notified, they went to the flats complex and got the camera working again."

Last month, the Herald revealed that gardai were investigating whether dissident republicans were involved with the Kinahan cartel in May's botched murder attempt on Gately.

A man in his 50s was questioned at his Co Louth home about the murder attempt outside the Topaz Garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin.

Gardai believe the criminal supplied a vehicle that was used in the shooting.

When armed detectives raided his home, they seized his car, which was taken away to be examined by a forensics team.

The arrested man has long-standing links to the dissident republican movement and has previous convictions for firearms offences.

Gately was shot up to five times, including once in the neck. However, four shots were lodged in his bullet-proof vest, saving his life.

Gately was driving a Ford Mondeo with northern registration plates when he was shot. He had walked out of the busy filling station only moments before.

Gardai believe that the Lexus pulled up beside Gately as he got into his car.

He spent a number of days being treated in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.

Such were the fears of another attack that members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) patrolled the Beaumont area until Gately was discharged.

Foiled

Since his release, he has been keeping a low profile.

In April, he survived another credible threat to his life after gardai foiled a murder plot that was at an advanced stage.

So far, 12 people have been shot dead as part of the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud.

The latest of these was on May 31, when father-of-two Michael Keogh was gunned down in the north inner city.

Keogh (37) was not considered a major criminal but associated with members of the Kinahan cartel.

A number of interventions by gardai have prevented further shootings by both sides.

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