herald

Thursday 24 January 2019

Firebomb attack terror for two Hutch women in Kinahan gang intimidation

Fire damage at the house in the north inner city after it was attacked on Wednesday night
Fire damage at the house in the north inner city after it was attacked on Wednesday night

Two innocent women were targeted in sinister firebomb attacks in the space of 24 hours as the Kinahan cartel's war against members of the Hutch family escalated.

With the feud now carrying on into the new year, tensions remained high in the north inner city last night amid fears the cartel would carry out more attacks.

In the latest incident, a house which was being renovated for a woman in the Hutch family was targeted in a petrol bomb attack, causing extensive damage.

Petrol

It happened at 10pm on Wednesday at St Margaret's Avenue, just off the North Circular Road.

Just under 24 hours earlier, a car owned by a close female associate of a senior Hutch family member was set on fire in North Great Charles Street in a targeted attack.

There have been no arrests in either case, both of which are being investigated by Mountjoy gardai, but senior sources told the Herald that the two incidents were linked and were part of the city's gangland feud which has claimed 18 lives.

Emergency services and gardai were alerted to the fire on Wednesday night at the front of the terraced property and found the front door and porch in flames.

There was a strong smell of petrol and officers believe that the house was deliberately targeted by thugs acting on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.

Local sources said a female member of the Hutch family was due to move into the house.

"It looks like someone found out who was moving in and tried to torch it," one source said.

The front door of the house was destroyed and extensive smoke damage was caused to the interior.

Buckets of paint could be seen inside along with a tube of sealant in an applicator gun, showing the house was nearing completion and almost ready to be occupied.

Officers sealed off the scene pending a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau. It is understood that the Hutch family member had been making "final preparations" to move into the local authority house.

Local "crack heads" are the main suspects for carrying out the attack.

"Obviously the cartel got wind of this and decided to get their goons to attack the property - huge damage was caused," the source added.

"Gardai have a good idea who was directly involved in this - there is very good quality CCTV at that location.

"These are north inner city fellas in their 20s who are massively in debt due to their abuse of crack cocaine.

"They have turned against their own community and they are doing the bidding of the cartel mob.

"Of course it is causing major anguish, particularly when you consider that they are now going after completely innocent women who have young children. It is actually sickening in a way."

Gardai believe what is happening now is part of "the fallout" after the conviction last November of three north inner city people over the feud gun murder of Gareth Hutch, who was well known both of to the innocent women targeted this week.

Hoax

Jonathan Keogh, Thomas Fox and Regina Keogh had denied murdering Mr Hutch in May 2016, but were given mandatory life sentences at the Special Criminal Court.

This week's bomb attacks are linked to an incident last month when a sophisticated hoax bomb was left outside the home of an innocent Hutch family member, which led to a city centre apartment block being evacuated.

On the night of December 17 gardai were called to the complex near Upper Dorset Street after a brick was thrown through a ground-floor apartment window.

Local officers arrived at the scene and discovered a suspect device which they believed to be a pipe bomb.

The Army's Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit was dispatched to the apartment complex and a garda cordon was put in place.

The woman targeted was a Hutch family member aged in her 30s who has no involvement in crime.

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