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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020
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Children as young as 13 robbing cars for Kinahan cartel murders - and paid with a bag of weed

Gardaí fear more violence following the release of Patrick Hutch on Wednesday.

Image: RollingNews.ie

CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 13 are heavily involved in the current Kinahan/Hutch feud and at least one of them has been questioned over involvement in two of the feud murders, TheJournal.ie has learned. 

Gardaí in Dublin’s north inner city are currently monitoring four boys who they believe are being used by serious criminal gangs to rob cars to be used in serious crimes up to murder, as well as carry out arson attacks on the homes of their rivals. 

The children all know each other and have been exploited by gangland criminals as “spotters” from a young age, that is informing dealers when they see a suspicious vehicle in the area. 

In recent years, they have moved up the ranks and are now being coerced into carrying out more serious crimes for the Kinahan cartel. 

Garda questioning

One of the boys has been questioned by gardaí in relation to two murders connected to the Kinahan/Hutch feud. It is understood his father is involved in the drugs trade.

The teen – based in the north inner city of Dublin – is known as a “youth for hire” and is used by many gangs, including the Kinahan cartel, to drive for them. A number of gardaí have identified him as being one of the the criminal organisation’s young members. 

Despite garda fears for his and the public’s safety, he continues to rack up juvenile liaison (JLO) referrals. This is the system whereby children are given a chance to atone for their crimes and are not put through the full rigours of the criminal justice system.

He has been apprehended for drug dealing, assault, car theft, public order offences and aggravated burglary. In recent months, he was arrested again for drug dealing. 

Gardaí have told of their frustration of the system – with one source explaining there are cases where “the young lad is going to end up dead or killing someone”. 

The criminal justice system for children has been sharply in focus since a new report last month found that almost 8,000 reported crimes by more than 3,000 children and young people went unpunished due to serious problems with the Garda youth referral scheme.

Serious crimes that were not pursued included one case of rape and one of child neglect. Thousands of reported public order offences, thefts, traffic offences and incidents of criminal damage also went unpursued. 

One of the other young teenagers working with the gang is suspected of carrying out an arson attack on a car belonging to a Hutch gang member late last year. 

The other two boys source cars for the Kinahan cartel and carry out other odd jobs for the more experienced pair. 

Sources have told TheJournal.ie that these children are working for drugs, more than likely “a bag of weed for every car they sell or every car the burn out”.  

Attacks on homes and property 

90437135_90437135 The feud has taken at least 15 lives so far. Source: SAM BOAL

Gardaí, especially those attached to stations in Dublin’s north inner city, believe that another act of serious violence could occur if feud tensions remain heightened. 

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In the last month, a number of cars have been burned out, houses have been vandalised and other personal property has been damaged. The young boys are prime suspects in these incidents. 

One of the incidents happened at North Great Clarence Street – where the sister of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch lives. The other happened in a nearby residential area.

As a result of these incidents, senior officers have directed an increase in patrols around certain areas described by gardaí as flashpoints. One of the main targets for the Kinahan cartel, according to well-informed sources, remains to be Patsy Hutch, Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s brother. Patsy Hutch has no direct involvement in crime. 

The release of Patrick Hutch has now added more fuel to the fire and gardaí now believe a return to serious violence is coming following the collapse of the Regency murder trial yesterday morning.

Hutch this week walked free from the CCJ after charges against him for the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin were dropped by the State.

He was accused of the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016 – one of the murders which sparked the Kinahan/Hutch feud. Patrick Hutch has pleaded his innocence since his arrest. 

A new significant garda security plan has been put in place around Dublin’s north inner city, where Hutch lives, as well as around areas where other members of the gang live. 

Armed patrols around these areas will continue. It is understood they will comprise a mix of highly visible and undercover officers. 

It is believed Hutch has already fled the country. 

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