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Hitman found guilty of attempted murder of Kinahan cartel target

Caolan Smyth’s co-accused was found guilty of assisting in burning out a getaway car.

gately-1 Gardaí investigating the scene after James 'Mago' Gately was shot near Dublin Airport in May 2017. Source: Eamonn Farrell

A HITMAN WHO gunned down Kinahan cartel target James ‘Mago’ Gately, who was shot five times but survived, has been found guilty of attempted murder by the non-jury Special Criminal Court this afternoon.

A second man has been found guilty for his part in burning out the car used in the shooting.

Gately, a Kinahan cartel target, was shot five times as he sat in his car at the Topaz filling station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin at lunchtime on 10 May, 2017.

The victim, who was warned by gardaí of a threat to his life and wore a bullet-proof vest, survived the shooting after sustaining injuries to his upper chest and neck.

Caolan Smyth (28) of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, had pleaded not guilty to Gately’s attempted murder. He had also denied the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger on the same date and location.

The prosecution had argued there was “no other conclusion” than Smyth being the man who “pulled the trigger”, while the court also heard that Smyth had put Gately under surveillance the day before and on the morning of the shooting.

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dublin-airport-shooting The scene of the attack on Clonshaugh Road in May 2017. Source: RollingNews.ie

Gary McAreavey (52) of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to acting to ‘impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle used in the attempted murder’ at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth on the same day.

Today, presiding judge Justice Tony Hunt said that the case against Smyth was beyond any reasonable doubt that he took part in what was intended to be an “organised murder”.

The prosecution case relied on mobile phone locations, phone-use being tied to the car’s movements and positive Garda identifications of Smyth from CCTV at the filling station.

Shortly after the attempted murder, McAreavey was spotted on CCTV in Castlebellingham buying petrol, which the non-jury court found was used in the “comprehensive destruction” of the getaway car near Dromiskin after Smyth and McAreavey travelled in convoy to the burn-site.

About the author:

Paul Neilan

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