'It was a stupid idea' - firm drops offensive feud hoodies, T-shirts
An Irish business has pulled a range of hoodies and T-shirts promoting the two gangs involved in the deadly Hutch-Kinahan feud.
The merchandise went on sale this week with the words "Team Hutch" and "Team Kinahan" emblazoned across the front.
Craic Clothing, an online business that advertised the controversial gear, has now apologised for what it said was a "stupid idea".
The clothing line and page have been taken down after local politicians expressed their anger at what they described as "despicable" and "irresponsible" marketing.
In a statement, Craic Clothing said the products "have been taken down and the page is being taken down later too. We didn't mean to offend anyone".
"It was a stupid idea that didn't have too much thought put into it.
"We can't apologise enough for any offence we caused."
The two criminal gangs have been involved in a deadly feud over the past two year, which has led to 12 murders and several shootings being carried out in Ireland and abroad.
Daithi de Roiste, who is chair of Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee (JPC), welcomed the company's decision to pull the clothing.
"It's sad to see it has come to this, where a feud which has claimed lives is being used by a business to make profit. They were operating in a parallel universe," said the Fianna Fail councillor.
"But I do welcome their decision to remove the clothing, and it is good to see that they have seen sense."
On the clothing branded "Team Kinahan", the words "cartel m*********er" are scrawled across the top, along with an image of a sub-machine gun and the word "Southside".
The "Team Hutch" merchandise has the words "Old skool m*********er" on the chest, along with "Northside" and an image of a knuckle duster.
On the company's website, a disclaimer had been added alongside the hoodies and T-shirts for sale, reading: "Craic Clothing takes no responsibility if you're stupid enough to wear this around town and get injured."
A spokesperson for online retailer Spreadshirt, the German business that oversees Craic Clothing, did not say how many products bearing the gang names had been sold.
Independent councillor Christy Burke, who represents the north inner city area where four feud murders have been carried out, had previously said the clothing was "damaging" to those who had lost loved ones.
A massive effort against the Kinahan gang by gardai has led to around €4m in cash and almost 40 firearms being seized by officers, along with €55m worth of drugs.
More than 30 associates of the cartel have also been charged with serious offences connected to the feud.