'Prime target' of hit squad revealed as Hutch gang's 'number two' drugs dealer
This is the intended target of Monday night's foiled gang feud murder bid, who was in a pub when a hit team attempting to kill him were intercepted by armed gardai.
Senior sources have revealed Gary Hanley became a prime target for the Kinahan cartel after they received information that he was directing operations for the rival Hutch mob in the north-inner city.
The career criminal has risen through the ranks of the Hutch gang since their deadly feud with the Kinahans began in 2015, and is now considered their "number two" drugs dealer in the area they control.
Hanley (28), originally from North Clarence Street in north-inner city Dublin, was officially warned by gardai last month of a credible threat against his life but refused to leave the capital despite being advised to do so.
He is closely connected to main players within the Hutch organisation, and sources revealed he received messages of support yesterday from many key members of the gang.
Among them were his close pal and feared thug Jason 'Buda' Molyneaux (26), and the Hutch gang's main enforcers.
Hanley's suspected drug supplier is a 35-year-old criminal who has been a key member of the Hutch mob for years.
Gardai are concerned about revenge attacks after the high-profile arrest operation.
Associates of Hanley are said to be "adamant" they will hit back after he was minutes away from being shot dead on Monday. Among these are a criminal duo, aged 43 and 41, who have been out of prison since 2013, having served sentences together after being busted in a major garda surveillance operation.
One is classified as one of the most dangerous "guns for hire" in the country.
A two-man hit squad was intercepted by armed gardai at Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview, at around 8pm on Monday as the hitmen attempted to make their way to Hanley's home in Marino. It is not clear if they knew their intended target was not in fact at the property.
Hanley has more than 30 previous convictions for offences including drug dealing, serious assault and other crimes. He was once brutally assaulted in Mountjoy Prison by a convicted killer. Now a feared enforcer, he was convicted of an armed robbery when he was only 15.
Sources say that he has "risen through the ranks" within the Hutch gang after being released from his latest period in jail around a year and a half ago.
That related to a four-year sentence he received in 2013 for having cannabis resin for sale or supply at the Alfie Byrne complex on April 10, 2009.
While serving his time, Hanley was attacked with a sharpened spoon in Wheatfield Prison and stabbed in the head, face and neck.
He had previously clashed with his attackers in the prison and had been placed in the "at risk" category by jail officials as he faced threats from up to 20 different inmates.
Ironically, while behind bars Hanley clashed with a number of inmates with close links to the Hutch mob. He was previously jailed for stabbing a woman in the face with a set of keys while she was holding her baby.
He was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of assaulting the woman causing her harm and for threatening to kill or cause her serious injury at Clontarf in Dublin on March 15, 2007.
The victim needed 20 stitches to her face and was left with two permanent scars from the horrific attack. She had been outside the Dart station when Hanley jumped out of a car and ran towards her. He pulled her to the ground by the hair and stabbed her several times above her left eye and below her ear.
While carrying out the attack, he called her a "bitch" and told her: "Next time you will get it in the heart."