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Saturday 7 December 2019

Hutch mobster Murtagh gets 12 years for his role in armed post office heist

Keith Murtagh has been jailed
Keith Murtagh has been jailed

A senior member of the Hutch gang, who survived several attempts on his life linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud, has been jailed for 12 years for his role in the armed robbery of a Dublin post office.

Keith Murtagh (35), of Mariner's Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to robbery at the Roebuck Post Office at Farmhill Road, Goats- town, Dublin, on January 5, 2016.

Murtagh had also pleaded not guilty to possession of a shotgun and possession of a shotgun cartridge on the same date.

After a 10-day trial last July at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, a jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all charges.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally said the case was aggravated by the premeditated nature of the incident, during which a firearm was discharged.

She noted that Murtagh had a previous conviction for a similar type of offence.

The judge said she gave the accused credit for meeting gardai voluntarily and giving them a DNA sample, his difficult childhood, the fact that he is a young man making the best of his situation in prison and that he runs for charitable causes.

She sentenced Murtagh to 12 years' imprisonment, which she backdated to the date he first went into custody in Nov- ember 2017.

At an earlier sentence hearing, Det Gda Lisa McHugh told Dean Kelly, prosecuting, that on the date in question, two men entered the post office, one armed with a handgun and one with a shotgun.

Blasts

She said the man with the handgun ordered people to get on the ground while the other man discharged two shotgun blasts into the glass partition.

This man then climbed over the desk into the back of the post office.

A total of €2,754 was stolen from there and €420 from the tills of a food shop on the same premises.

Murtagh had 42 previous convictions, including convictions for attempted robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm relating to an attempted robbery of a cash-in-transit van in Lucan on May 15, 2009.

Garnet Orange, defending, asked the court to have regard for the fact that his client had spent most of his life in prison.

He said Murtagh had done a number of mini marathons while in custody to raise money for good causes.

Mr Orange said his client accepted there was evidence before the jury that entitled it to come to its verdict, but he maintains his innocence.

Murtagh survived a number of attempts on his life at the height of the Hutch-Kinahan bloody feud.

He is being held in an isol- ated wing with his Hutch asso- ciates.

Murtagh has been blamed by the Kinahans for involvement in the Regency Hotel shooting murder of David Byrne.

However, Murtagh's involvement has been strenuously denied by his family, and gardai have not found any evidence to support the contention.

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