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Man shot dead in Dublin was accused of 'burning out homes of Hutch family members'

Despite not being a known criminal, Keogh had been accused of targeting a number of innocent Hutch members on behalf of the cartel.

Michael Keogh
Michael Keogh

THE KINAHAN CARTEL member who was shot dead in Dublin yesterday morning was suspected of being involved in the burning out of homes belonging to innocent Hutch family members.

The body of Michael Keogh was discovered by a council worker as he made his way to work near Sheridan Court, Dorset Street at about 9.55am.

Keogh was discovered with a number of gunshot wounds to his head as he sat in a Volkswagen Golf in a car park.

His brother Johnny Keogh has served time after he was discovered to be making pipe bombs for the INLA in Clondalkin.

Michael’s associates were believed to be part of a new group styling itself on the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) who had been taking the protection business freed up by the demise of the Real IRA and Alan Ryan’s gang since his murder in 2013.

Gardaí believe an associate of Keogh had been acting as a hired gun for the Kinahan cartel. Although officers are not ruling out potential republican in-fighting as a reason for the killing, they believe that the man’s link to the Kinahan cartel is what got him killed.

Despite starting a new job the day before his murder, Keogh had been accused of being involved in targeting the homes of a number of innocent members of the Hutch family in recent days. This intimidation is believed to be the catalyst for his murder. His level of involvement has not been specified.

Keogh’s murder is the most significant moment in the Kinahan-Hutch feud, according to well-placed security sources, as it marks the start of an apparent fightback by the Hutch gang.

Local councillor Nial Ring said he understands that a weapon was found in the back seat of a car at the junction of Clonliffe Avenue and Clonliffe Road.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Ring said: “It was about 100 yards from my office, it was abandoned.

We just don’t want this on the streets of the north inner city. We want normality, particularity for children. We don’t want children desensitised that every time they go to school there’s a garda checkpoint.

“There’s still a lot of checkpoints around but the community gardaí have done a massive effort in bringing normality to the streets and that’s all we want – normal living…

“Unfortunately there’s good and bad, and bad and evil everywhere and it’s visiting the streets of the north inner city a little bit too much for our liking.”

Ring added that the victim’s family “would be known around the area”.

DUBLIN SHOOTING 0035_90513648 A child looks on at gardaí at work after his mother explained to him the reason they cannot access their home. Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Since David Byrne, a Kinahan lieutenant, was murdered at the Regency Hotel in February last year, the Hutch gang had yet to kill again. In that time seven people linked to the Hutch gang have been murdered. They are Gareth Hutch, Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Duggan, Eddie Hutch Snr, Darren Kearns, Michael Barr and Daithi Douglas were shot dead by the Kinahan cartel.

In recent months, more attacks had occurred on people with links to the Hutch gang. Eddie Staunton was shot on Railway Street but survived. Earlier this month, James ‘Mago’ Gately – who was questioned by gardaí in relation to the Regency Hotel attack, was shot as he sat in his car at a Topaz garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin.

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Gately was released from hospital on Wednesday. The attack on Keogh is thought to have acted as a distraction so Gately could flee Dublin without being followed.

Photo: RollingNews.ie Forensic teams from the technical bureau at the scene of an incident at Sheridan Court, Dorset St Upper. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Gardaí now fear that this attack signals the resumption of the violence which swept the city in the immediate aftermath of the Regency Hotel attack.

Officers are now calling on anyone who has any dashcam or other video footage from around the area to get in touch.

A spokesman for the gardaí said: “Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information, particularly taxi drivers or other motorists who may have camera recording equipment mounted on the dash board or elsewhere on their vehicle and who were in vicinity of Dorset Street, Clonliffe Avenue and surrounding areas of Dublin between 7am and 10am this morning 31 May to view any recorded footage they may have.

“Anyone who may be able to help is asked to contact Gardaí at Mountjoy Street garda station on 01 666 8600, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any garda station.”

Read: Gangland victim James Gately to make full recovery despite being shot through the neck >

Read: ‘They’ve saved lives’: Dublin’s armed garda unit faced 248 ‘serious incidents’ in three months >

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