Kinahan Cartel spotters kept watch on Gatley's home ahead of terrifying attack
The Kinahan cartel placed the north Dublin home that James Gately shares with his partner under surveillance in the days before the attempt on his life, gardai believe.
James 'Mago' Gately was last night in a critical condition in hospital after being shot at least four times in the latest gun attack linked to the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud.
Gately (30), who is a prime target of the Kinahan cartel, had just visited his partner in north Dublin when he was targeted at the Topaz petrol station on the Clonshaugh Road.
The Hutch associate has been hiding out in Northern Ireland because of the active threat on his life and was sitting in a northern-registered Ford Mondeo when he was shot.
It is understood he had returned to Dublin from the North in recent days.
Gately was sitting in the maroon-coloured car on the left-hand side of the forecourt when shots were fired from a black Lexus at around 1.35pm in a drive-by shooting.
Up to 70 people were in the vicinity of Gately's car when the would-be assassin opened fire.
The Herald can reveal that two of the bullets passed through the car and hit advertising hoardings on a grassy area beside the forecourt.
The 30-year-old father-of-two was hit in the upper neck and chest but a quick-thinking nurse tended to him and managed to stem the flow of blood from his wounds before emergency services arrived.
The Herald can reveal the country's latest gun victim's partner was placed under surveillance by members of the Kinahan cartel before the attempted murder.
The Coolock home that Gately shares with his partner - who has no involvement in criminality - was monitored by cartel spotters in the event he returned home.
The Hutch gang associate was hit once in the neck and three times in the chest but the Kevlar vest he was wearing prevented the bullets from entering his torso.
He was treated at the scene, where he responded to paramedics, before being transferred to Beaumont Hospital under armed garda escort.
A full medical report on Gately had not been completed by yesterday evening and investigating detectives have still not been able to interview him.
The lone gunman sped off in the Lexus northbound on the M1 after the attempted hit.
Gardai also believe that a man on a motorbike nearby acted as a spotter.
Gately had been warned by gardai that his life was under threat and despite armed garda checkpoints being rolled out near his north Dublin home, Kinahan cartel members had been watching closely.
Gately last month survived a threat on his life after armed gardai foiled a murder plot which was at an advanced stage.
National units, supported by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), raided a property in west Dublin where they recovered a note containing information on Gately's whereabouts in Northern Ireland.
Gardai believe the Kinahan gang had detailed information on Gately's movements.
"He changed his car on a fortnightly basis but the cartel were aware of what vehicle he was driving and when he was returning to Dublin," a senior source said last night.
Gately had walked out of the busy filling station moments before being targeted.
He had previously acted as an enforcer for the Kinahan mob but aligned himself with the Hutch faction after the murder of his childhood friend Gary Hutch in September 2015.
A handgun was used in yesterday's shooting and gardai believe the 08-D Lexus pulled up beside Gately as he got into his car. After being shot a number of times he fell out of the driver's side of the vehicle.
Bystanders had originally thought the gun victim was suffering a heart attack.
The Lexus suspected of being used in the botched murder was later found burned out in Ardee, Co Louth.
Supt Finbarr Murphy of Ballymun Garda Station yesterday appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to contact gardai.
"It was busy. It was lunchtime and I say there would have been 60 to 70 people present," he said. "We've spoken to people in the forecourt and in the shop and around the [Clayton] hotel.
"We're appealing for anyone in the area at the time or anyone with a dash-cam on their car, or anyone who witnessed bad driving from an 08-D black Lexus [to come forward]."
The senior garda added that innocent people could have been injured during the attack.
"What makes it more outrageous is that it was a sunny afternoon at 1.30pm. There were bullets in different directions. Any innocent person could have been injured in this attack," Supt Murphy added.