herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

RIRA peace talks end in broken jaw

ATTEMPTS TO broker a peace deal between godfather Eamonn Kelly and the Real IRA were scuppered -- when a row broke out and a man's jaw was broken.

The meeting, facilitated by the INLA, took place at a pub in Dublin's south inner city yesterday and was set up to organise protection rackets on Dublin bars.

The gathering, which involved elements of the Belfast and Dublin INLA, was convened to divide up the pub protection racket in the capital and broker a peace deal between the Real IRA in north Dublin and Eamonn Kelly.

Godfather Kelly (61) and the dissidents have been at loggerheads after the republicans tried to extort money from Kelly and then tried to assassinate him when he refused to pay.

The meeting took place on top of a pub in Dublin's south inner city yesterday morning. The bar cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Kelly was reportedly at the meeting but was unharmed when the row broke out shortly after the discussions. Tensions between Kelly and groups aligned to him and the Real IRA gang have been at fever pitch during the summer but it is unclear why yesterday's peace talks descended into violence.

All parties left the bar shortly after the punch-up. The Herald understands that the incident was not reported to gardai.

The meeting was the first attempt to defuse the situation following violence over the summer but this could flare up again following the brawl.

Kelly is understood to want to broker peace among gangsters in the city. A source told the Herald: "Continual tit for tat violence is bad for business, and Kelly is a businessman first and foremost, whose business happens to be drugs."

The criminal mastermind is renowned for having mentored dangerous criminals, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland and Eamonn 'The Don' Dunne, in drug running and armed robbery.

Kelly and the Real IRA have been at each other's throats since early this year when the republican gang ordered him to pay them €50,000 or be killed.

After Eamonn Kelly refused to meet the group's demands he was targeted in an assassination attempt.

On September 11, he managed to chase a gunman from his home after the attacker's handgun jammed at the vital moment.

The assassin had been lying in wait as Kelly left his Clontarf home.

hnews@herald.ie

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