herald

Monday 15 October 2018

Kinahan cartel chose Kane's pal to kill him

Andrew O'Keefe
Andrew O'Keefe

A career criminal was recruited by the Kinahan cartel to kill mobster Kane McCormack because he had been a friend of the victim, sources revealed yesterday.

Andrew O'Keeffe (29) knew the target's movements and was chosen for that reason, they said.

Yesterday, O'Keeffe, of Drumcliffe Road, Cabra West, was jailed for eight years by the Special Criminal Court for having a handgun and silencer.

It is believed he was on his way to murder Mr McCormack when he was involved in a confrontation with armed gardai which led to his arrest last September.

The white Citroen Berlingo van in which he was a passenger collided with a garda patrol car.

The driver of the van is still on the run.

"O'Keeffe had been very close to Kane McCormack and his then girlfriend at one stage, he was in a position to know Kane's movements and that is why he was enlisted for this job," a source told the Herald.

"However, like many other 'hitmen' recruited by the cartel, he did not get a single cent for his endeavours after he was caught by gardai."

Mr McCormack (24) was shot dead and his body found on farmland in Co Meath in December, three months after O'Keeffe's arrest.

Sentencing O'Keeffe yesterday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding at the non-jury court, said while the accused was not the driver, there were very "serious episodes" of dangerous driving which put the public at risk.

Referring to O'Keeffe's "past failures", the judge said it was in the defendant's interest for the court to encourage him to turn away from crime.

Assault

O'Keeffe has 71 previous convictions which include assault causing harm, violent disorder, public order and theft.

The court heard gardai were sent to Ballyfermot on September 6 last year having received information about a white Citroen Berlingo and a firearm.

O'Keeffe was busted by members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) when he tried to flee. There was one round in the breach of the gun and a further eight rounds in the magazine.

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