Intended target of hit that killed innocent Dublin father goes into hiding in Ireland
The intended target of a gangland hit that claimed the life of innocent man Trevor O'Neill has gone to ground over fears he will be targeted again.
Jonathan Hutch (37) - a nephew of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch - told Spanish detectives in the immediate aftermath of the fatal shooting that the hitman's bullets were meant for him.
Dad-of-three Mr O'Neill (41) was gunned down by a hooded assailant shortly before 9pm on Wednesday near the resort of Costa del Calma in Majorca.
The Dublin City Council worker - who colleagues and friends described as "an absolute gentleman" - was killed in a case of mistaken identity..
It is not known when his body will be repatriated, and Spanish police are attempting to determine whether two burnt-out cars - a Volkswagen Golf and a Seat Leon - found near the crime scene were used in the murder.
Mr O'Neill's devastated partner Suzanne and their three children were flown home from Majorca and arrived home in Dublin shortly before midnight on Thursday.
They did not return to their family home in Drimnagh yesterday, and are believed to be staying with close relatives in the capital as they come to terms with the senseless killing.
Last night, neighbours of the family said the community was still reeling.
"It's tragic, he was a lovely man and he was a very good dad ... we are heartbroken," neighbour Meriline Calou said.
Jonathan Hutch was on board the same return flight as the O'Neill family. Hutch was escorted through Dublin Airport, with armed gardai guiding him through a private exit, after flight FR9998 touched down.
Checkpoints manned by members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) were also operating around Dublin Airport as the flight arrived from Palma de Majorca.
Hutch has not been seen at his north-inner city home since his return and it is believed he has gone to ground over fears he will be targeted again by the Kinahan cartel.
Gardai believe the Kinahan cartel was informed of Hutch's plans to travel to Spain long before he arrived on the island. It is also being investigated whether a senior member of the Kinahan cartel, who is a suspect in two feud murders, was involved in the murder of Mr O'Neill.
The north Dublin mobster had travelled to Spain from Britain just days before Mr O'Neill was gunned down.
Despite being targeted by the cartel, Jonathan Hutch is not considered a serious criminal, gardai believe he is being targeted simply because he is a member of the Hutch family.
He was recently informed there were credible threats being made against his life, along with several other male and female family members.
The Kinahan gang were responsible for the killing of his brother Gareth Hutch (35) in May; his uncle Edward Hutch (59) in February; and his cousin Gary Hutch (34) last September.
The cartel have also targeted other members of the Hutch family including Patrick Hutch Snr (55), with gardai foiling two attempts on his life in July.
Overtime for gardai operating checkpoints and protection posts in the north-inner city is also expected to be extended until at least Christmas, due to the fresh threat against a Hutch family member.
Armed officers are already manning checkpoints outside the home of Patrick Hutch Snr, with certain family members under garda surveillance.
TDs have called on Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald to tell Spanish authorities that a more robust response is needed to deal with Irish gangs in that country.
Fianna Fail's Jim O'Callaghan said: "The brutal murder of Trevor O'Neill while on a family holiday in Spain reveals that Dublin's gangland feud is still ongoing and that people not involved in any criminal activity are as much under threat as are those involved in gangs.
"Trevor was a hard-working employee of Dublin City Council and we must honour his memory by continuing to exert maximum pressure on the gangland murderers responsible for his death," Mr O'Callaghan said.
"We must now encourage and assist the Spanish authorities in solving this latest heinous crime," he said.
"If the gardai make a request for the extradition of any person in Spain for crimes committed in Ireland, this should receive the full cooperation of the Spanish authorities.
"It is astonishing such a large criminal enterprise can be operated openly from Spain without the intervention of the Spanish authorities.
"The murder of Trevor O'Neill must result in a more aggressive response from the Spanish authorities to the Irish gangs who have based themselves in Spain. This should be communicated to the Spanish government by the Tanaiste," he added.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Ray McHugh expressed his sadness at the tragic loss of life.
"He was always a perfect and absolute gentleman and it's very tragic that this has happened. My condolences go out to the family."