Gardaí are gathering together all their evidence before they arrest two key members of the gang involved in the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel over a fortnight ago.
Some 11 homes and units, linked to associates of the Hutch gang, were searched yesterday as part of the murder investigation.
While most of the addresses targeted were in Dublin’s north inner city, gardaí also searched the home of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch in upmarket Clontarf.
Sources said that gang members are under “incredible pressure”, because of the very real threat of being killed at the hands of the Kinahan gang and at the prospect of being arrested and prosecuted by gardaí.
As high levels of Garda patrols continue in both the north inner city and south west Dublin — the base of many members of the Kihanan cartel — gardaí fear further attacks.
But some sources suspect violence may switch to Spain as members of both outfits, particularly the Kinahan gang, head back to bases they have there.
Last September, Gary Hutch was shot dead in Spain by the Kinahan gang over a drugs dispute.
In suspected retaliation, his associates carried out the military style assault at the Regency Hotel, shooting dead Crumlin man David Byrne, a senior member of the Kinahan cartel.
Three days later, the Kinahan gang shot dead Edward Hutch, the uncle of Gary Hutch, and brother of Gerry, at his home in the north inner city.
Gardaí investigating Byrne’s death are satisfied they have identified two gunmen — a man wearing a flat cap and a young man dressed as a woman. They were caught on camera by photographers from The Sunday World after the shooting at the hotel.
The man in the cap, aged 46 and from Co Tyrone, has been holed up across the border since the attack and has had his home raided by the PSNI. A former member of a series of republican terror groups, he previously faced charges in relation to a kneecapping.
Sources said gardaí first need to gather all their evidence before seeking a European arrest warrant for the man.
Sources said the man’s nerves were “frayed” and that both he and other members of the gang were under “incredible pressure”.
Gardaí are satisfied they have identified the young man who was dressed as a woman.
Another youth, who is also suspected of being in the six-man gang, is currently on remand in prison. The 22-year-old, from the north inner city, was arrested on foot of a warrant and taken to Cloverhill Prison on February 12. He is under protection there since.
In the searches yesterday, involving around 100 gardaí, an array of mobile phones and documentation were taken away for analysis. It is understood the suspects had anticipated the searches and there were no forced entries or incidents. Forensic tests are continuing on three cars, seized last week, which are suspected to have been used as getaway vehicles after the Regency shooting.
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