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Gardaí ‘prepared’ for gang attacks on fifth anniversary of Regency shooting

‘Every day we are preparing for and aware that an incident can happen,’ Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said.

2.37749133 Source: PA Images

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA have said they “stand prepared” for any gangland attacks that might take place on the fifth anniversary of the Regency Hotel shooting.

Friday will mark five years since the violent shooting at the North Dublin hotel, which sparked a bloody gang war that claimed 18 lives.

On February 5 2016, David Byrne, an associate of the Kinahan cartel, was shot dead by members of the Hutch gang at a boxing weigh-in.

Gardai have always believed the intended target was crime boss Daniel Kinahan.

Speaking today, the assistant commissioner for organised and serious crime, John O’Driscoll said the force was prepared for incidents that might be carried out by either side in the feud.

He said: “There are anniversaries of a whole range of incidents, and this is not the first anniversary of a particular incident.

“Every day we are preparing for and aware that an incident can happen.

“Whether it’s on an anniversary or at any other time, we stand prepared and hopefully we can get there before an event takes place.

“Unfortunately that’s not always the case, and then we must go into a mode where we have to have effective investigations into the serious injury or murder that has taken place.

“As you will be aware, there are many successful outcomes to those murder investigations also.”

2.25472974 Flowers left outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin following the shooting on February 5 2016. Source: Brian Lawless/PA Images

 

O’Driscoll confirmed that investigations into the Regency Hotel shooting are ongoing.

No one has ever been convicted in relation to the incident.

He defended the Gardai’s record in relation to the investigation.

He said: “We will leave it to scrutiny of the courts.

“In the event that the courts may decide, when the investigation has concluded, to prosecute or not.

“We will leave the assessment of our actions in that investigation and the assessment of the actual evidence that we produce, to the courts and, perhaps, that would be a better time to judge our activities.”

He also hit out at what he called “fake news” disseminated by members of the Kinahan cartel.

These have included high budget re-enactments of the Regency shooting, which baselessly claim it was part of a conspiracy on behalf of the Gardai and the Irish government.

He said: “The danger of fake news is, well where are those people who made that video, who made those assertions?

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“It goes beyond this jurisdiction, because I have seen, for example, bogus documents purporting to emanate from international law enforcement agencies.

“They have been circulated in what purports to be a book about organised crime.

“So, again, the most important aspect of fake news is that people are not accountable for it.

“If those people come forward and open themselves to scrutiny, about the evidence to support what they’re saying, we’ll certainly react to that.

“But today, in the absence of that, we can only speak for what we’re doing.”

Kinahan was identified in the High Court in Dublin as a senior figure who “controlled and managed” the operations of the Kinahan organised crime group.

The international crime syndicate has been involved in the smuggling of drugs and guns into Ireland, the UK and Europe.

In recent times, Kinahan has attempted to re-brand himself as a boxing promoter.

But he drew further scrutiny when it was revealed he played a key role in organising the heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Kinahan claimed to have stepped away from boxing after the controversy that followed, but a recent BBC Panorama investigation revealed he still holds close links with the sport.

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