Thursday 18 January 2018

Brutal gun killing that sparked 12 months of gang war

Scene of Gary Hutch shooting in Spain
Scene of Gary Hutch shooting in Spain
Liam Roe
Scene of Gary Hutch murder, Marbella, Spain

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the murder of Gary Hutch in the brutal gun slaying near Marbella on Spain's Costa Del Crime that changed the landscape of gangland Ireland forever.

Hutch's murder kicked-off an unprecedented round of blood-letting, mainly orchestrated by the savage Kinahan cartel, that has led to nine additional murders and the fear of many more to come.

The feud led to gangland crime becoming a major issue in this year's general election campaign and has been at the forefront of the political agenda ever since.


Health and homeless issues dominated the headlines in Ireland this day last year.

But in Spain, the Kinahan cartel was finalising plans to murder a former key member of the international organisation, considered to be one of Europe's most powerful crime networks.

Hutch was just five days shy of celebrating his 34th birthday when he was chased around a swimming pool at his private apartment complex in the Angel de Miraflores complex on September 24 by a gunman who cornered him and shot him dead.

There are several theories as to why the cartel executed one of its most senior members.

Gardai have learnt that the Kinahan cartel and Hutch mob had already been in dispute over a €4m cash haul.

The cash, the proceeds of a robbery by the Hutch gang, was given to the Kinahan cartel to launder. Instead, it was stolen.

This led to huge tensions between the two major criminal organisations which exploded when Daniel Kinahan survived an assassination attempt in 2014, which is suspected was organised by Hutch.

It has also been investigated whether Hutch was shot dead because he was accused of being a garda informer by the cartel and had been stealing drugs money from the mob.

Whatever the reason for his murder, there can be no doubt that it was a seismic moment that led to events that would touch many people's lives.

In the weeks after Hutch's murder, there was huge tension in Dublin and few informed observers believed that the call by Gary's mother Kay for "no revenge" at his funeral would be respected. Just weeks after Gary's murder, his brother Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch was the victim of a savage knife attack in Mountjoy Prison, which was ordered by the cartel.

In a retaliation attack, cartel associate Liam Roe survived an attempted murder in Dublin's Red Cow Hotel, which was followed by another brutal attack on 'Del Boy' Hutch in prison at the end of 2015.


On New Year's Eve, it emerged Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch survived a botched assassination attempt in a Lanzarote pub.

The feud exploded in spectacular fashion on February 5 when cartel member David Byrne was shot dead and two of his pals injured when five gunmen stormed the Regency Hotel.

Three nights after the Regency attack, Eddie Hutch, the older brother of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch was shot dead at his home in Dublin's north inner city as armed gardai patrolled nearby. Soon, more innocent lives were caught up.

Two victims of mistaken identity - Martin O'Rourke and Trevor O'Neill - were recklessly murdered by the cartel in their determination to wipe out associates of Gary Hutch.

The Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has set up specialist garda units to tackle organised crime in the capital.

A task force to address social issues and deprivation in the north inner city has also been established, and just last week there were dramatic scenes of unprecedented co-operation and joint investigations between gardai and international police forces.

Whether these are serious attempts to take down Dublin's feuding gangs or just the latest in a series of stop-gap measures remains to be seen.

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