Wednesday 13 December 2017

Crack cocaine bust linked to target of botched cartel hit

Keith Murtagh is an associate of Derek Hutch, pictured Picture: Collins Dublin
Keith Murtagh is an associate of Derek Hutch, pictured Picture: Collins Dublin

A hunt is under way for a close associate of key Kinahan cartel target Keith Murtagh after a crack cocaine bust in Dublin that resulted in the arrest of a woman.

Officers seized a relatively small amount of the drug after stopping a car in the north inner city area of the capital.

It is understood that the man who is linked to Murtagh fled the scene. He left his female pal to be arrested by officers from Store Street Garda Station.

She was not previously known to gardai for involvement in crime. It is expected that there will be a court appearance in relation to the matter in coming days.

Meanwhile, Murtagh has made a surprise return to the north-inner city, despite having survived two murder attempts from the Kinahan gang.

Murtagh (34), a close associate of the Hutch gang, previously fled his home near Dublin's IFSC after repeated attempts on his life.

Murtagh is said to be staying at a different address in the city after the decision to return.

He was the target of a botched shooting during which innocent father-of-three Martin O'Rourke (24) was shot dead.

Murtagh then fled to the UK, but returned several days later. He had also been warned by gardai prior to the shooting incident that there was an active threat on his life.


Just weeks after his return he survived a second attempt to kill him after a gunman fired a number of shots through the front-room window of a house in Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot.

Murtagh and a female associate received minor injuries. The convicted armed robber has since kept a low profile. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to court earlier this year.

Murtagh was due to appear before Blanchardstown District Court this week to answer a number of road traffic charges.

Murtagh is regarded as a key associate of Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch, who is the brother of Gary Hutch and nephew of Eddie Hutch, both of whom have been shot dead by the Kinahan gang as part of a bitter feud.

He was part of an armed gang that included Derek Hutch. The gang conspired to rob a large sum of money from a cash-in-transit van in Lucan, Co Dublin, seven years ago.

Murtagh was wounded during the incident and one of his accomplices, Garrett Molloy (27), was shot dead by gardai.

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