Hotel attack an act of revenge by pals of slain gangster Gary Hutch
Close friends of murdered criminal Gary Hutch are the chief suspects for yesterday's brutal gun attack at the Regency Hotel.
Gardai were last night treating the murder of David Byrne (34) as a revenge attack for that fatal shooting in Spain's Costa Del Crime last September. Detectives believe yesterday's savage attack had been planned for many weeks.
North inner-city criminal Hutch is believed to have been murdered on the orders of international criminal Christy Kinahan.
Byrne's two pals - Sean McGovern (30) from Crumlin and Aaron Bolger (25) from Tallaght - were recovering from their injuries in Beaumont and the Mater Hospitals last night after they were shot in the stomach and leg respectively.
"A huge amount of planning went into this. There may be an international dimension to this crime in terms of the sourcing of weapons and other matters linked to it," a source said.
Gardai do not believe that the uniforms used by the killers were stolen garda uniforms but were modified uniforms.
Sources said that officers believe that the gunmen, who wore bullet-proof vests and helmets, had intended wiping out several friends of Christy Kinahan, aka the Dapper Don, and his son Daniel.
Sources said that it was believed that up to six criminals were involved in the gun attack. Two members of the gang had already been identified by gardai last night.
Both men were very close to Gary Hutch and were left "heartbroken and very angry" about his brutal death in Spain.
Since his murder, they have cut ties with the cartel and have even gone into hiding rather than attend meetings with cartel members.
Within an hour of yesterday's shocking attack, armed officers from the Special Detective Unit were checking on properties connected to the criminals.
Neither of the suspects have many previous convictions, but the older of the suspects has a fearsome reputation for hits carried out on behalf of his bitter enemies in the Christy Kinahan cartel.
These include the gun murders of Eamon 'The Don' Dunne in April 2010, and Paul Kavanagh in March of last year.
Gardai believe that there will be revenge attacks for the murder of David Byrne, whose older brother Liam (38) is one of the city's most notorious criminals with convictions for firearms offences and a savage assault.
The van used by the killers to get away was found burnt-out at the Charlemont Estate in Marino shortly after the murder. The killers fled through St Vincent's GAA ground and from there to Killester.