herald

Thursday 26 April 2018

Lucky escapes in killer feud as gang members feel the heat

Armed gardai on the streets of Dublin
Armed gardai on the streets of Dublin

The Hutch/Kinahan feud has claimed at least 15 lives since it erupted over two years ago, with several more failed murder attempts and foiled hits.

As well as a number of botched shootings taking place, gardai have also prevented in excess of 50 hits being carried out.

One of the first botched hits directly linked to the feud came in November 6, 2015, when a gunman approached a number of cartel associates during a boxing event at the Red Cow Hotel.

The hitman, believed to be a young Hutch associate in his mid-20s, attempted to discharge a firearm but the weapon jammed.

Gardai believe that his intended target was Liam Roe, who was standing outside the venue at the time and was lucky to escape with his life.

The feud further escalated on New Year's Eve of that year, when a hit team entered a pub in Lanzarote in an apparent attempt targeting Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

The Monk had been socialising in the bar moments before, but left before the would-be hitmen burst into the pub.

Hitman

Another senior associate of the Hutch mob escaped with his life on April 14, 2016, when a hitman murdered father-of-three Martin O'Rourke in a case of mistaken identity.

The intended target, an armed robber in his 30s, escaped unharmed. A further attempt was made on his life two months later in west Dublin, but he again escaped without serious injury.

In September of that year John Hutch - the alleged target of the incident in Turkey - survived an attempt on his life after escaping a bungling hitman who dropped his handgun while targeting him outside his Dublin home.

His son Jonathan had been targeted a month previously while holidaying on the Spanish island of Majorca, in a shooting which led to the mistaken identity killing of innocent Trevor O'Neill.

The Dublin city worker was standing beside Hutch when he was blasted a number of times in front of his family.

Hutch later told Spanish detectives that he was the intended target of the murder.

In May 2017, feared mobster James 'Mago' Gately survived after being blasted a number of times outside a service station in north Dublin.

Earlier this year another botched shooting was carried out, this time intending to murder Hutch associate Graham 'Choco' Byrne.

He was blasted a number of times outside the National Boxing Stadium but somehow managed to escape serious injury.

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