By Cormac O'Keeffe and Aoife Moore
Community leaders have urged people to read court evidence linking Daniel Kinahan to the Kinahan cartel before supporting professional boxing fights organised by the gang boss.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the Department of Foreign Affairs has contacted the United Arab Emirates, where Daniel Kinahan lives, about the matter.
Mr Kinahan has been credited with securing two high-profile boxing fights between heavyweight rivals Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
The Kinahan drug cartel is suspected of being behind 18 murders here and in Spain since September 2015.
The High Court here has named Mr Kinahan as a senior figure in organised crime on a global scale and has said Liam Byrne, the head of the Dublin branch of the cartel was a “trusted lieutenant” of Mr Kinahan’s.
The Criminal Assets Bureau also told the High Court they believe that Mr Kinahan “controlled and managed” the operations of the Kinahan crime group.
“The best thing really would be to give him no publicity, but it is out now, so the best thing we can do is point to the facts and not cover the fight,” said Anna Quigley, co-ordinator of the Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign.
“My instinct is to give him no attention at all and just point to what the High Court said about Daniel Kinahan — actual evidence in court. So, if anyone wants to know about him, just read that.”
She urged people thinking of viewing the fights to examine the devastation at the hands of the cartel, particularly in Dublin’s northeast inner city.
“Look at the list of victims if you think this is some kind of game or drama,” she said. “There are an awful lot of people dead and an awful lot of people destroyed because of them. That should be the message, these are the facts.”
Speaking in the Dáil and referring to Daniel Kinahan, Labour leader Alan Kelly highlighted the “parasitical and criminal activities of this individual and all associated with him”, adding that this individual is now “rebranding himself” as a boxing promoter in the Middle East.
He urged the Taoiseach to act, saying: “Our country has to intervene with the United Arab Emirates through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in respect of this individual. We owe it to the victims of that cartel. Our country needs to do this and to do it today.”
The Taoiseach replied: “I was rather taken aback to see Tyson Fury dropping the name of the person the deputy mentioned in a video the other day as if he was not a person with quite a chequered history in this State and elsewhere.
“While I cannot comment on a particular Garda operation, I can certainly assure the deputy that there has been contact between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the authorities in the United Arab Emirates about that matter.”
Criminologist Johnny Connolly of University of Limerick’s School of Law said the headlines contrast with the important role boxing clubs play in areas hardest hit by social disadvantage, drugs, and gangs.
“The sport of boxing is right at the frontline in a lot of these communities in trying to keep kids away from the temptations of criminality and the trappings of wealth and status,” he said.