hatchet's nephew slain
SLAYING: Criminal nephew of 'Hatchet' Kavanagh gunned down in city street
THE NEPHEW of slain gangland figure Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh was riddled with bullets in a brazen daylight hit on Dublin's northside.
Paul Kavanagh (27), from Drimnagh, was gunned down in cold blood by two thugs in balaclavas, sustaining shots to the face and chest.
Gardai believe he may have been targeted in retaliation for his suspected involvement in the murder of reckless criminal Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy last year.
The ruthless assassination came just over six months after 'Hatchet' died in a hail of bullets outside a pub in Spain's Costa del Sol.
Paul Kavanagh was driving a Volkswagen Passat in Drumcondra at around 11.30am yesterday when his car was rammed from behind.
The two masked gunmen fired at the wheels of the car to make sure that the young criminal couldn't flee. They then fired multiple shots at Kavanagh before fleeing the scene.
Despite having few convictions, the murdered man was classified by gardai as a key enforcer for the Christy Kinahan international crime syndicate
He helped carry the coffin of his murdered uncle Gerard when his body was repatriated from Spain last year. Last night, sources said that gardai had also not ruled out the possibility that the same mob that shot 'Hatchet' also killed his nephew.
'Hatchet' had returned to Ireland trying to recover a €1.5m debt from crime figure Christopher 'Git' Russell in the months before his murder last year.
It is also believed that Hatchet's murdered nephew Paul had been in a cash dispute with Russell, who is connected with a serious gang of Cabra criminals.
"Paul Kavanagh had been shoving his weight around in a big way, and like his uncle, had been threatening people looking to call in debts for the wider Kinahan gang, so that has to be looked at," a source said.
"However, it is more likely that he may have been shot in revenge for the murder of 'Mad Mickey' in Tallaght last year which his crew are suspected of playing an active part in."
Detectives are working on the theory that he had been under surveillance for weeks.
They aren't ruling out the possibility that Kavanagh may have been the target of a murder attempt in a Tallaght pub on Sunday night when a would-be assassin's handgun jammed.
The dad-of-two was suspected of being involved in importing cocaine into the country. He was also involved in the used car business in west Dublin.
A close female associate of the murdered man was previously busted with a huge cash haul in Dublin Airport in 2008 as she boarded a flight to Spain.
The cash was later forfeited to the State.
A very close associate of notorious heroin trafficker Greg Lynch and feared criminal Paul Rice, Paul Kavanagh was understood to have been involved in a number of feuds in the city over the past year including many related to drugs debts.
The murdered man was arrested by gardai with Rice and Lynch in 2010 in relation to a terrifying kidnap and torture incident at a house in Lucan.
A man was stripped and badly beaten during the incident.
None of the criminals were ever charged in relation to that crime. Kavanagh, from Mourne Road in Drimnagh had been involved with serious criminals since he was a teenager, sources said.
Local councillor Noel Rock today spoke of his shock about the murder. "There is great shock in the local area about this incident. This isn't the kind of area which sees violent crime, so this is deeply distressing to many members of the community in Drumcondra - myself included," he stated.
"I would urge people living locally to give any assistance they can to the gardai, who are in the early stages of their investigation, he added.
Tensions have been high in Dublin's gangland scene in recent weeks and there have been long-standing fears that the murder of 'Mad Mickey' Devoy would be avenged.
Devoy was shot dead with his body discovered on the side of the road in Bohernabreena late on the night of January 18 last year. The investigation into the murder of 'Mad Mickey' remains active.
The last major development in the case happened in November when a 24-year-old man from the north inner city was arrested by detectives from Tallaght Garda Station.
Some of Devoy's closest associates have been gunning for revenge ever since his murder and this remains the strongest line in the investigation into yesterday's slaying which is being led by Santry gardai.