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Kinahan vs Hutch: The birth of a bloody feud

Double-dealing, murder and the most powerful drug cartel in Irish history.


TWO GANGLAND MURDERS less than three days and three kilometres apart. The brutal and public nature of the killings of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch Snr has shocked the country.

The assassinations have shone a light on the deep divisions among some of Ireland’s most notorious criminals – and stoked fears of further bloodshed.

But where has this come from? What is bubbling underneath the most recent killings? Read on…

How are the two recent killings linked?

The killing of Eddie Hutch last night is believed to have been retaliation for the murder of Byrne at a boxing weigh-in showcase in the Regency Hotel on Friday, not 10 minutes’ drive from the scene of last night’s killing in Dublin 3.

Byrne was a known associate of the Kinahan crime gang. Hutch was the brother of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, once one of the most infamous names in Irish crime.

Who are the Kinahan and Hutch gangs/families?


The Kinahan cartel is considered the most powerful drug gang in the history of the State. It is headed by 57-year-old Christy Kinahan, dubbed ‘The Dapper Don’. 

Kinahan, who grew up in St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin 8, spends the majority of his time outside of Ireland in a luxury villa near Malaga in Spain. Having spent time in jail for drug trafficking, Kinahan, according to reports, took time to learn Dutch and Spanish as well as pursuing a degree in business.

The cartel is estimated to have dozens of criminals working for it throughout Dublin, including a number of the city’s most notorious convicts. It is believed to account for much of the drug trade in the capital and beyond, taking in millions of euro a year.

The cartel is said to have previously included ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson, who was arrested last night after a car in which he was travelling was stopped by gardaí in Dublin city centre. He was later released without charge.

Members of the Hutch family are also believed to have been involved with the Kinahan cartel but that relationship turned sour and led to the death of Gary Hutch last year, nephew of last night’s murder victim Eddie Snr.

PastedImage-76942 Gerry The Monk Hutch

The Hutch family name first became a staple of serious crime in Ireland in the 1980s. This was down mainly to the activities of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch who was the prime suspect, but always denied any involvement, in two of Ireland’s most notorious armed robberies – a IR£1.7 million Securicor robbery in 1987 and a £3 million Brinks depot robbery in 1995.

In 2008, Hutch told RTÉ’s Prime Time that while he had been convicted of crimes in the past, he had since made his money through property, despite making a multi-million euro deal with the Criminal Assets Bureau.

“I done a lot of business in property, it was a good time and that’s where I made my money,” he said.

“If people say armed robberies, so be it. I mean, I was questioned about these armed robberies . . . we’ll let them decide – the people.”

There is no doubt, however, about the level of involvement of Gerry Hutch’s late nephew Gary in more recent crime. Once a trusted member of the Kinahan cartel, he was murdered in Spain last year over a row about cash with his former drug associates.

Another nephew, Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch is in Wheatfield Prison for stabbing a man to death at a house party in 2007 and a cash-in-transit robbery in which a raider was shot dead by gardaí.

Last night’s shooting victim, Eddie Hutch Snr, was considered a “soft target”.

Known to gardaí, but not considered an active criminal, his murder is believed by gardaí to be intended to “send a message” and “hurt” the Hutch family.

How did the feud begin?


Previous divisions in the Dublin criminal underworld are generally considered to have been about the “business” of crime.

This is more personal, Garda sources say.

Back in 2014, a member of the Kinahan crime gang Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh was killed in Spain because senior members of the gang believed he had been stealing from them.

The same fate awaited his brother, Paul Kavanagh, who was shot in broad daylight in Drumcondra last March.

In September last year, Gary Hutch was shot dead in Spain. He was killed at an apartment complex in Miraflores. It is believed he too was suspected of pocketing money from the Kinahans.

And this latest spat?

The killing of Gerard Kavanagh signalled the beginning of a fresh round of violence, but the two killings over the last five days were sparked by the murder of Gary Hutch.

It is believed that close associates of Hutch planned the Regency Hotel attack, which took place at a boxing weigh-in promoted by the gym run by Daniel Kinahan. Kinahan was in the room himself, but survived unscathed.

That brazen attack saw Crumlin native David Byrne, 34, who was linked to the Kinahan gang, killed.

This then led to the tit-for-tat killing of Eddie Hutch Snr, shattering a quiet Monday night in the Fairview/Ballybough area.

What has been the official response to it?


Officially, gardaí have placed armed checkpoints around the city and are said to be on high alert.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald today pledged a new armed unit in Dublin specifically to respond to gangland crime.

Unofficially, GRA President Dermot O’Brien told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the force is under-resourced.

What happens next?

Early indications are that the gardaí expect more bloodshed. Sources say that the situation could mean “war”.

However, with two murder investigations ongoing and many involved having fled to the continent, it is not known if that bloodshed is imminent or forthcoming.

Garda sources say that either way, it is coming.

Read: ‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson arrested in Dublin city centre

Read: New armed unit in Dublin to respond to gangland feud

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