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Monday 20 November 2017

Gardai quiz Real IRA man over shooting of Hutch Pal 'Mago'

Gardai search for evidence at the scene of Gately’s shooting
Gardai search for evidence at the scene of Gately’s shooting

Detectives probing the attempted murder of Hutch mobster James 'Mago' Gately suspect the involvement of the Real IRA .

The Herald can reveal that gardai investigating the botched murder bid have quizzed a man linked to the dissident republican group and have seized his car.

Gately (30), who is a very close associate of the Hutch gang, was targeted outside the Topaz Garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, last month.

The attempted murder was ordered by the Kinahan cartel.

It has now emerged that a dissident republican with links to the Real IRA was questioned over the shooting.

Hierarchy

Hitmen linked to the New INLA, another dissident group, have previously been used by the Kinahan cartel to carry out a number of shootings.

The New INLA is suspected of involvement in two feud murders.

"It hasn't yet been established if the Real IRA hierarchy sanctioned the involvement, but this individual has been trading under their name," a source said.

"It shows how complex this feud is in that an associate of the Real IRA was also murdered by the Kinahan cartel."

The man, aged in his 50s, was questioned at his Co Louth home about the attempted murder.

Gardai search for evidence at the scene of Gately’s shooting
Gardai search for evidence at the scene of Gately’s shooting

Gardai believe the criminal supplied a vehicle that was used as part of the shooting.

It was not believed to have been the getaway car, but rather was used either before or after the attack.

When armed detectives raided his home they also seized his vehicle, which has been taken away to be examined by a forensics team.

The arrested man has long-standing links to the dissident republican movement and is associated with the Real IRA.

He has previously been convicted of firearms offences but has never been charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

Gately was hit up to five times, including once in the neck. However, four shots were lodged in his bullet-proof vest, saving his life.

Gately was driving a Ford Mondeo with northern registration plates when he was shot. He had walked out of the busy filling station moments before being gunned down.

A handgun was used in the shooting.

Gardai believe that the Lexus pulled up beside Gately as he got into his car.

'Mago' spent a number of days being treated in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital in the aftermath of the shooting.

Such were the fears of another attack that members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) patrolled the Beaumont area until Gately was discharged.

Since his release from hospital he has been keeping a low profile.

Speaking in the aftermath of the shooting, Supt Finbarr Murphy of Ballymun Garda Station said: "It was busy in the forecourt.

"It was lunchtime and I'd say there would have been 60 to 70 people present when the attack occurred.

"We're appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, or anyone with a dash-cam on their car, or anyone who witnessed bad driving from an 08-D black Lexus to come forward."

Foiled

In April, Gately survived a credible threat to his life after gardai foiled a murder plot that was at an advanced stage.

So far, 12 people have been shot dead as part of the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud.

The latest of these was on May 31, when father-of-two Michael Keogh was gunned down in the north inner city.

Keogh (37) was not considered a major criminal but associated with members of the Kinahan cartel.

A number of interventions by gardai have prevented further shootings by both sides.

On June 16, uniformed gardai arrested two men after stopping a number of suspicious vehicles in the north inner city.

The men, aged in their 20s, were detained after a Walther handgun, a balaclava and a canister of petrol were discovered in one of the cars.

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