herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Hotel bloodbath assassins had planned stadium attack

Murder

Gardai checking cars on Cork Street
Gardai checking cars on Cork Street

The gang behind the brutal hotel assassination initially planned to launch an attack on the boxing tournament at the National Stadium on Saturday night, sources believe.

Drug trafficker David Byrne (34) was murdered and two associates seriously injured when six hitmen stormed a pre-fight weigh-in for the Clash of the Clans event.

Last night security sources said they have "no doubt" that the objective of the audacious gun attack was to kill Kinahan's son Daniel and "wipe out" several gang members, in revenge for the murder of Hutch's nephew Gary in Spain last year.

Armed gardai mounted several check points across the city last night to prevent further bloodshed.

Balaclava-clad gardai brandishing Heckler & Koch MP7 sub-machines were assisting at checkpoints in Crumlin last night.

A number of plain-clothes gardai assisted uniformed officers and armed units while stopping traffic heading towards the city at Cork Street close to Dolphins Barn.

Members of the force were also questioning individuals as they entered and left Lourdes Road in Maryland.

The main attraction for the hitmen was a bout between Portuguese boxer Antonio Joao Bento and Jamie Kavanagh whose father and uncle were murdered by hitmen in Dublin and Spain.

Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh and his brother Paul were both involved with the Spanish-based cartel before a bitter internal feud.

The killers decided that the National Stadium tournament would be too crowded on the night to carry out an attack.

Horrific

Instead, the hit team struck with horrific consequences at the pre-match weigh-in at the Regency Hotel.

"The plan was to wipe out as many of the main players as possible in one spectacular attack, especially Daniel Kinahan, Christy's son but they were fortunate enough to get out in time," a source said.

"What has happened is unprecedented in terms of gangland violence and it is a huge escalation of hostilities between these two dangerous outfits which is nothing less than an all-out war."

Meanwhile, Mel Christle, the President of the Boxing Union of Ireland - who was at the Regency for the weigh-in - told the Herald that a meeting of the boxing union will hopefully take place before the end of the week.

He said that protocols that might be applicable to future weigh-ins, will be a matter for discussion by the union.

Speaking about Friday's events, he said it really was a frightening experience.

"I was able to walk through reception. There were people in terrible shock," he said.

The competition in the National Stadium was cancelled as well as another event at Roadstone.

However, boxer Jamie Kavanagh - who has no links to crime - told followers on his Instagram page that he is delighted to be with his family.

"Should be waking up this morning with a European title. But even happier to be waking up with these two. Family is everything keep them close," he said yesterday.

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