Spanish ask for names linked to hit on gangster
THE body of gangster Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh who was shot dead in the Costa Del Sol, is expected to be repatriated to Ireland in the next 24 hours.
Gardai are on alert ahead of his funeral which is due to take place in Drimnagh this week.
A number of his associates were spotted in Liverpool Airport last night en route back to Dublin.
Meanwhile, Spanish police investigating his murder have asked gardai to send them a list of suspects.
Kavanagh (44) is said to have been "hated" in Dublin and police in Spain are awaiting the names of people who might have had a hand in his shooting outside a pub on September 6.
The call for garda help shows Spanish police are still in the dark about key aspects of the killing, despite securing CCTV images of the crime and witness descriptions of the two gunmen before they pulled masks.
The two guns the killers used were recovered from a stolen BMW they torched after abandoning it outside a supermarket near the scene of the shooting.
Police are not thought to have been able to recover any DNA evidence from the vehicle, which had been reported stolen by its owner.
Spain's decision to turn to Dublin for assistance also indicates they suspect Irish involvement in the killing.
Russian and Dutch drug dealers have been implicated in the hit outside Harmon's Irish Bar in Elviria near Marbella on September 6.
But the theory that Kavanagh's death was connected to Irish in-fighting gained strength last week after it emerged Dapper Don Christy Kinahan's son Daniel was seeking police protection.
Kinahan's lawyer, Javier Arias, admitted Daniel feared for his life - but insisted it was because retired British boxer Jamie Moore was shot outside his house five weeks earlier and not because of Kavanagh's murder.
Police are still investigating if the two crimes are linked, although Daniel Kinahan, an acquaintance of Moore's, claimed reports Kavanagh worked as an enforcer for his drugs kingpin dad were lies.
The slain Irish gangster, jailed for four years in 1996 when he was just 25 for dealing heroin in the Crumlin area, is said to have been back in Ireland recently trying to recover a €1.5m debt from Christopher 'Git' Russell.
Gardai have already told Spanish detectives that Russell, who has been a target of the Criminal Assets Bureau for years, was among a string of criminals Kavanagh had upset.
One source close to the investigation said last night: "Kavanagh was hated.
"Gardai are going to take a while to draw up the list the Spanish police have asked them for because so many criminals in Ireland wanted him dead."
A judge overseeing the investigation into Kavanagh's murder has slapped a secrecy order on the case.
A spokesman for Spain's National Police said the order, standard practice in criminal investigations, prevented her from making any comment.