Level of feud murders ‘staggering’ as gardaí hit gangs hard with seizures

A senior garda has described the level of murderous violence in the Kinahan-Hutch feud as “quite staggering”.

Level of feud murders ‘staggering’ as gardaí hit gangs hard with seizures

It follows the shooting dead by Kinahan gunmen of Dublin father Trevor O’Neill in a case of mistaken identity in Spain last week.

It brought the murder toll to at least eight — seven at the hands of the cartel.

Gardaí have conducted two operations against the outfit this week, aimed at different levels of the network.

Detectives seized up to €15,000 in cash, €30,000 worth of jewellery, a €15,000 watch and an Audi A3 in raids yesterday morning in Dublin’s south inner city.

These raids were part of an ongoing operation targeting middle and lower-ranking members of the Kinahan cartel in Dublin. A man and a woman were arrested.

Last Monday, gardaí seized a submachine gun and around 4kg of cocaine at a house in Castleknock, north Dublin.

Detective Superintendent Tony Howard of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DCOB) said he was “very concerned” that semi-automatic and military grade weapons were available to criminals.

He said his bureau alone had confiscated up to five assault rifles and one submachine gun so far this year, along with 14 other firearms, mainly handguns.

He said people were being murdered “callously” on the streets of Dublin and Spain as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

“The level of violence in such as short period of time is quite staggering,” he said yesterday.

Det Supt Howard was speaking at a briefing highlighting five separate garda operations targeting organised crime.

Items from one of the operations, conducted yesterday morning in Bellewstown, Co Meath, were put on display.

The DOCB, along with local units, raided a drugs factory and recovered €70,000 in cash and drugs worth €500,000, as well as mixing agents and drug paraphernalia. Two men were arrested.

At the same time, gardaí from the Dublin South Central Division and the Special Crime Task Force, set up in the summer to combat the Kinahan-Hutch gangs, raided three premises in the south inner city.

As well as up to €15,000 in cash, a Rolex watch worth €15,000 and various jewellery worth €30,000, gardaí recovered a small amount of heroin and documentation.

These documents are going to be examined by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The operation was co-ordinated by Detective Superintendent Peter O’Boyle.

The raid is part of Operation Thistle and represents the fourth swoop on south inner city gangs which comprise the middle and lower ranks of the Kinahan cartel here.

Last June, €1.4m worth of heroin was seized, and one man arrested, while in May some €300,000 of drugs were confiscated.

These followed an operation in March in which 10 homes were raided and €50,000 in cash and €20,000 worth of jewellery were seized.

In a separate operation in March, gardaí in neighbouring Crumlin and Drimnagh seized some €1m worth of assets in high-profile raids on members of the upper ranks of the Kinahan cartel.

Det Supt Howard also mentioned an unrelated operation in Finglas, north Dublin, on Wednesday night, in which they recovered over 30kg of cannabis, with a street value of €190,000. Two men were arrested.

And in an operation at the weekend, the DOCB recovered 1.5kg of heroin in Louth and arrested three men.

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