Armed patrols and checkpoints in cartel heartland after murder

Garda checkpoints and armed patrols are back in the heartland of the Kinahan cartel in south Dublin to prevent retaliation for the “barbaric” murder of Hutch associate Noel Duggan.

Armed patrols and checkpoints in cartel heartland after murder

But sources on the ground said Garda levels will be depleted over the long weekend because of the reported 1,800 gardaí taking part in, and policing, the 1916 Rising commemorations.

Garda management rejected that and insisted there would be no reduction in numbers and patrols in areas where the Kinahan cartel is active.

Officially, gardaí have said it is too early to state the murder of Duggan is linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud, but experienced officers strongly suspect it is. It would bring to four the number of people shot dead in the feud.

Duggan, who specialised in illicit cigarette trafficking and paid a tax settlement of €2.5m to the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2003, was a close friend of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, but was not considered to be part of the Hutch crime group.

However, a number of senior sources said the 57-year-old was believed to work with the group as a “facilitator” in terms of his knowledge and contacts in terms of import and export.

Supt James Cannon, who is leading the murder probe, yesterday said there was no intelligence to say that Duggan was “at risk” or was in danger of “being a target”.

The family man was shot dead as he sat in his car outside his home in an upmarket estate in Ratoath, Co Meath, just before 8pm on Wednesday. Gardaí in south-west Dublin, the heartland of the Kinahan cartel, are bracing themselves for retaliation from the Hutch gang. Sources said checkpoints and armed patrols are being put “back out” in the Crumlin, Drimnagh, and south inner city regions in an effort to minimise revenge attacks.

At Ashbourne Garda Station yesterday, Supt Cannon said it appeared that Mr Duggan had just arrived home to the Old Mill Estate and was sitting in his car in his driveway when a lone gunman approached and opened fire, with a handgun.

“Anytime a man is shot down in his own driveway where his family was inside the house, that is a barbaric act,” said Supt Cannon. He said they were “particularly interested” in a man, dressed in dark clothing, who ran away from the driveway after the shooting. He ran across a green towards Millview Apartments, located on the Fairyhouse Road. A dark-coloured saloon car, possibly a BMW, was seen leaving.

Supt Cannon said gardaí found a black BMW and a gold Saab on fire at Cairn Courton the Fairyhouse Road a short time later. A dark saloon was also seen leaving Cairn Court, before gardaí arrived. Supt Cannon said gardaí are eager to speak to anyone who saw similar vehicles, or cars being driven suspiciously around the time, to contact them.

Those with information can ring gardaí in Ashbourne on 01 8010600 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Guns seized

Gardaí seized guns and ammunition in Co Meath as part of an investigation targeting organised criminals involved in the distribution of firearms.

Two assault rifles and several hundred rounds of ammunition were seized when gardaí stopped two vehicles in the Ratoath area. In a search two semi automatic pistols, silencers and further quantities of ammunition were discovered in Ratoath. Three men in their 30s were arrested. Gardaí are investigating if it is linked to the feud which claimed the life of Noel Duggan in Ratoath on Wednesday night.

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