Fugitive gangster held over 'The Don' Murder lifted on Spanish Costa
A senior member of the Kinahan cartel has been arrested in Spain by heavily-armed police officers.
The dramatic early morning raid, some 60 miles south of Barcelona, followed a tip-off by gardai.
The 34-year-old north inner city hood, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested over the 2010 murder of Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.
The senior cartel player was previously arrested in relation to the murder but was never charged.
However, he is facing serious charges that were brought against him after Dunne was gunned down at The Fassaugh House pub in Cabra.
The cartel criminal spent a number of weeks in jail before getting bail and fleeing Ireland almost seven years ago.
It is understood that when he arrived in Spain he hooked up with his associates in the Kinahan cartel.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to the serious charges he faces here.
Gardai have been hunting the major league gangster for more than two years.
The manhunt came to an end early yesterday morning when Spanish police, operating on vital information given to them by gardai, stormed a hotel room in Tarragona, a port city on the Costa Dorada.
It is believed an Irish woman was in the room with the gangster when police burst in.
They were armed with machine guns and wore military fatigues in the top secret operation.
It is understood the gangster - who is believed to have been previously based in the Kinahan stronghold of Marbella on the Costa del Sol - was on holiday when he was arrested.
The feared thug is expected to be brought before a court in Madrid today, when he will be asked if he agrees to his extradition to Ireland.
If he agrees, he will appear before the courts here before the end of the month.
If extradited, he will probably be jailed in the so-called 'Kinahan wing' of Mountjoy Prison, where many of his associates are housed, some of whom face trial for feud- related crimes.
However, if he contests the extradition arrest warrant, he can expect to face many months in a hell-hole prison while his case is dealt with by Spanish courts.
"Either way, whatever he decides to do, he will be in jail for a long time," said a source last night.
"This is considered a good thing because of his key involvement in the Kinahan cartel.
"Gardai have been hunting this man for a number of years and are delighted with the brilliant co-operation they have received from the authorities in Spain."
The mobster is considered a "trusted" member of the international crime syndicate, with access to large amounts of cash.
He is believed to have used a number of aliases since he went on the run and is wanted by other European police forces in relation to separate crimes.
The north inner city flats where he lived are now the focus of heavily-armed garda checkpoints as officers try to keep a lid on the long-running, bitter gangland feud between the Kinahans and the Hutch mob.
The ongoing war between the two criminal gangs has already claimed 12 lives.
The arrested criminal is a close associate of Barry Finnegan (38), another key cartel associate and a criminal who was also arrested in connection with the murder of Eamon Dunne.
It is believed Dunne was killed because the murders he was involved in were attracting too much garda attention to the cartel's crime network.
Dunne was a major crime figure, having assumed control of the Finglas-based drugs and armed operation previously led by Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.
His gang was a major importer of drugs, supplying them to smaller operations throughout the country, and is suspected of being involved in up to 15 gangland killings before his murder by the cartel.