Gardaí can see “no immediate end” to the killing spree by the Kinahan crime cartel, which yesterday carried out its sixth murder, all aimed at the rival Hutch gang.
The latest victim, Gareth Hutch, had expressed fears to a local councillor on Monday that he was “in danger” and did not want to be “shot in front of his son”.
Community groups and politicians have demanded “firm and urgent” action from Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to end the “senseless cycle of violence”.
Mr Hutch, aged 35 and a father of a six-year-old boy, was shot dead by two gunmen outside his home at Avondale House flats complex in Dublin’s north inner city at 10am yesterday.
He is the second nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch to be killed by the Kinahan cartel, after the murder of Gary Hutch last September. The feud has also claimed the life of The Monk’s brother Eddie and friend Noel Duggan.
Of the seven murders in the feud, four have taken place in Dublin’s north-east inner city.
“There’s no immediate end in sight in this,” said one senior garda. “The Kinahans are not going to give up until they get all of them. You can’t predict what form the next attack will take — all you can do is give crime prevention advice and flood the place with gardaí.”
Armed checkpoints and patrols were in operation at the time, but a separate garda source said the area was down 140 officers: “The place is like a powder keg. Members are doing extra shifts. but there just isn’t enough of us.”
Assistant Commissioner for Dublin Jack Nolan described the murder spree since February as “relentless” and said further Kinahan violence was a fear: “It is certainly a worry. I have no guarantee that something else won’t happen.”
He said the Garda Síochána’s appetite for resources was “insatiable” and there “will never be enough resources at any particular point in time”.
But he said the full capability of the force was being brought to bear and was showing results, with one man charged with murder, 13 arrests in total, 17 firearms seized, 3,000 checkpoints, and 1,800 stops of suspects.
He said four people were currently in custody — three in relation to the murder of David Byrne and one for the revenge murder of Eddie Hutch.
Gardaí recovered two handguns at yesterday’s scene and removed two cars for examination. Later, a 29-year-old male was arrested.
Local councillor Nial Ring said Gareth Hutch called into his clinic on Monday looking to move from the flat he was in to a more secure flat in the same complex. “I wrote him a letter to bring to the welfare officer this [Tuesday] morning,” said Mr Ring.
He said Mr Hutch was “very concerned” for his safety and particularly his son’s: “His concern was he was in danger and didn’t want to be shot in front of his son.”
Mr Hutch told him that gardaí had advised him he was in danger. Mr Hutch had his son half the week, while his ex-partner had the boy the rest of the time.
“This would not happen in Frances Fitzgerald’s constituency or the Taoiseach’s,” said Mr Ring. “There is a feeling of anger and helplessness of what will come next. People just feel helpless.”
A statement issued on behalf of community networks in the area condemned the shooting “in the heart of the community”.
It said it was a tragedy for the man’s family and friends and “further trauma for an already frightened and vulnerable community”.
It had this message for Ms Fitzgerald: “We are calling on the Tánaiste for firm and urgent action to end this senseless cycle of violence.”
The statement also demanded that the Tánaiste convene a summit of community leaders, politicians, statutory bodies and government departments to put in place “a sustained and long-term response to the root causes of this crisis”.
Ms Fitzgerald condemned the “unprecedented cycle of evil” and said “every necessary resource” was being made available and that there had been “no scaling back” in operations.
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