herald

Thursday 18 October 2018

Nine shots fired at mob HQ used by cartel hitman

Scene of the Shooting at a house on Rathoath Drive Finglas
Scene of the Shooting at a house on Rathoath Drive Finglas

At least nine shots were fired at a house, which was previously the headquarters of an on-the-run hitman for the Kinahan cartel, in an early-morning gun attack in north Dublin yesterday.

The property, which has been vacant from time to time, has been used by a dangerous Finglas gang which has links to the cartel. The house was also fire-bombed and shot at in a sinister attack last November.

A source told the Herald last night that yesterday morning's gun attack at the property is being investigated as part of a bitter criminal feud in the area that has been ongoing for almost a year.

The shots were fired through the windows of the terraced house at 6.20am yesterday and are believed to have been fired from a handgun.

At least one man pulled up at the house and fired at it, hitting the living room window on the ground floor and an upstairs bedroom window.

The gunman then made his getaway, possibly by motorbike.

Bullet holes were visible in the glass after the shooting and the area was sealed off for a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.

There were no reports of injuries and it is not thought there was anyone in the house at the time it was attacked.

Yesterday's gun attack is just the latest instalment in the bitter Finglas feud, which has seen a number of gun attacks, firearms seizures, violent assaults and numerous damage to property incidents.

War

Associates of a 30-year-old Finglas drug dealer who has links to the Hutch mob are being investigated for carrying out yesterday's gun attack.

Scene of the arson attack in November
Scene of the arson attack in November

His faction has been at war with a rival local mob led by another drug dealer nicknamed 'Mr Flashy', who has links to the Kinahan cartel.

'Mr Flashy' was previously mentored by the on-the-run thug, who is linked to a number of murders.

"This row is about drugs turf, money and criminal prestige," a source said last night.

After months of relative calm in the Finglas feud, which began after a number of its main participants were locked up, the gang dispute is now "hotting up" again, according to sources.

The latest round of tension broke out after the Hutch mob-aligned 30-year-old was the victim of an incident a number of weeks ago in which a brick was thrown through his window.

In a revenge action, graffiti targeting a 29-year-old jailed member of the rival 'Mr Flashy' crew was sprayed on walls in the Cardiffsbridge Road area calling him a "cryba", or cry baby, which sources said wrongly implied he was co-operating with garda investigations into the feud.

The 29-year-old is understood to be on a special protection regime in jail while he awaits trial on serious charges.

As tensions increased, gardai operating in the Finglas and Blanchardstown areas were warned a fortnight ago by their superiors not to approach senior gang members involved in the feud without armed back-up because of the gangsters' easy access to firearms.

Then, last Thursday night, officers raided a property in Mulhuddart and discovered a loaded handgun, a small quantity of ammunition and around €10k of cocaine.

The target of last week's operation was a small-time criminal who is suspected of having links to the 'Mr Flashy' side of the feud. He has not yet been arrested.

It is understood the firearm was to be used as part of the dangerous dispute, which has now escalated because of yesterday's shooting incident.

The house which was shot at yesterday had been repaired after last November's early-morning attack, in which thugs fired up to four shotgun blasts into the unoccupied house and then petrol-bombed the property.

On that occasion, gangland criminals had placed four metal poles, with six-inch nails welded into them, on either side of the property to prevent emergency services and rival gangsters getting anywhere near the sinister attack.

'Mr Flashy' has taken over a drug dealing patch belonging to his older, on-the-run associate, who fled the country last year.

The 38-year-old gangster's home has been raided, and he was arrested and questioned last year about the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr in Dublin's north inner city in February 2016.

Gardai have also been investigating if the exiled criminal was involved in the murder of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan (55), who was shot dead outside his home in Ratoath, Co Meath, a month later.

He is also suspected of carrying out the 2014 murder of Stephen 'Dougie' Moran and the botched attempt on John Gilligan two weeks earlier.

Last month, the Herald revealed that the exiled 38-year-old had been arrested for a burglary in England and has become addicted to heroin and crack cocaine due to the ongoing pressure of various police forces investigating him.

Miracle

"He is considered one of the city's most dangerous criminals but he's now taking heroin and is carrying out minor crimes to feed his habit," a source said.

It has emerged that despite being arrested in England last month, there is no European Arrest Warrant in place for the gangster, who is facing firearms and other serious charges here.

In his absence, a bitter feud kicked-off in Finglas and it has been a "miracle" that no one has been murdered, sources say.

Armed garda patrols have increased in the area ever since Hutch gang-linked criminal Glen O'Toole (inset) was arrested in the Ashtown area while on his way to murder 'Mr Flashy' last October.

O'Toole (39) was arrested with a loaded firearm, a silencer, a canister of petrol and a Halloween mask by Finglas gardai.

He was charged in relation to the arrest but died by suicide in prison a week later, and it is understood he had been threatened by the Kinahan cartel-linked drugs mob before he took his own life.

Just days after O'Toole's arrest, the 'Mr Flashy' gang was suspected of shooting up the family home of an innocent member of the Hutch family in a revenge attack.

The mob is also suspected of beating up another innocent Hutch family member in a daylight attack in a supermarket car park.

In the aftermath of this incident, a teenage Hutch family member fled the Finglas area and went into hiding because of threats against him.

In a revenge attack, the 'Mr Flashy' safe house in Finglas was shot at and then petrol-bombed over the local feud.

Garda investigations into the arson attack later gave them key information about the gang.

A January truce organised between the rival mobs has now broken down.

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