'I know the f***ers are going to get me' - Hutch predicted death
The Kinahan gang will have "wiped out" the Hutches and taken over Dublin's north inner city within six months unless immediate action is taken, worried residents believe.
A politician who was helping Gareth Hutch in the hours before he was gunned down on Tuesday morning said the Kinahan mob is trying to create "a state within the State".
Independent councillor Nial Ring also told how Hutch (35) was resigned to being shot dead, but did not want it to happen in front of his seven-year-old son.
The dead man spent 90 minutes with Mr Ring on Monday, discussing his fears and how he wanted to move to another flat in the Avondale House complex that would be more difficult to access.
"He said to me as he was going out, 'I know the f***ers are going to get me, but they're not going to do it in front of my son," said Mr Ring.
Talking on Independent.ie's Floating Voter podcast, the councillor argued that it is unfair for the entire Hutch family to be painted as criminals because most are ordinary people now living in terror.
"The likes of the Hutches and other small-time criminals are being wiped out by the Kinahans," he said.
"It's an international criminality that I don't think we can grasp the significance or the size of.
"When Enda Kenny talks about it taking years to sort out the Kinahans, he has no idea. You're going up against huge money and a ruthless mentality that we haven't seen.
"This is something I don't think people fully understand. This is like people trying to create a state within the State and to be immune and carry on their business with absolute impunity.
"It's not going to be solved overnight, but Enda saying years and years? These guys will have taken over the north inner city drugs trade within six months unless we stop them now."
Asked if people in the area have sympathy for the Hutch family, Mr Ring said: "When you say 'Hutch', everybody thinks criminality and 'common decent criminal', but the vast majority of the Hutch family and the vast majority of people in the area are not involved in criminality. They just want to get on with their lives."
Mr Ring said people need to realise the crisis is being driven by "international terrorism".
"This isn't some sort of family feud being played out. You get the usual, 'Oh, let them all shoot each other', but that's not what's happening here. This is a one-sided massacre," he said.
Describing his final meeting with Gareth Hutch, Mr Ring said he had asked for his help in securing another, safer flat.
"He was concerned that his back balcony was accessible and it was in an area with no CCTV," he said.
"He didn't want anything to happen to him while he was in the flat and his son was with him.
"He told me he had direct access to the ERU through the flat. I presume that was some sort of button system or alarm.
"I don't believe the gardai are capable of providing 24/7 armed protection for anybody."
Since Tuesday's daylight attack, another member of the Hutch family has approached Mr Ring after receiving a warning from gardai that his life is in danger.
However, the councillor hit out at the political reaction, saying the 1,000 armed checkpoints in the area "are all optics".
"It's not like the one where if you go to dodge a checkpoint there's a guard around the corner. It's the lighthouse in the bog. They're of no use at all. Not doing anything," he said.
Mr Ring also claimed that if the gun attacks happened in the constituency of Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald or Taoiseach Enda Kenny "there would be a lot more done about it".
"There is that sense of abandonment," he said. "It's the people using drugs in middle-class areas that are partially responsible for this."
To hear the full interview with Mr Ring on the Floating Voter podcast, visit Independent.ie.