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Murdered man might have supplied guns to crew behind boxing weigh-in shooting

By Paul Williams

Published 26/04/2016

The latest gangland murder in Dublin appears to be connected to the feud between the Kinahan and Hutch mobs.

Co Tyrone dissident republican Michael Barr, a senior member of the IRA, was blasted to death as he worked in the Sunset House pub on Summerhill Parade, which is a short walk from the last needless killing of innocent father-of-three Martin O'Rourke (24) just a week ago.

While it is probably too early to make a definitive judgment on what exactly happened, all the indicators suggest this is connected to the war between two of the Republic's biggest mobs.

It appears that Barr may have been involved with the associates of murdered Gary Hutch. This is the same crew who carried out the outlandish Regency Hotel attack on Friday, February 5.

He may have organised, with others, the supply of the AK47 assault rifles used in that attack.

But the problem for gardai, who will begin the process of picking up the pieces of this latest outrage, is which side actually carried out the hit.

Logically, it would be first assumed that he was likely murdered by an associate of the Kinahan side.

If that is true, there is a really chilling extra dimension to this feud: the Kinahan gang seems to know as much about the investigation as the gardai.

However there is also the very likely possibility that Barr was suspected of informing on the Hutch side and was the recipient of summary gangland justice.

Another theory that gardai will be looking at has nothing to do with the Kinahan/Hutch feud - there is a suggestion that Barr may have been killed as part of an internal dispute within the IRA.

Either way, this is yet another escalation of a needless and frightening gang war that has so far claimed the lives of five people, each of whom were gunned down in public places by killers who have obviously no fear of the gardai.

If Barr's death is indeed part of the escalating feud between the Kinahan mob and associates of Gary Hutch, then he will be the sixth person who lost his life in this gangland war. There is a sense of fear in the close-knit community in Dublin's north inner city. This feeling was perfectly encapsulated by one woman who lives close to last night's murder scene.

The woman said: "People are scared for their lives. These killings are getting closer and things are getting worse. People are very afraid in this area now. Something has to be done."

Michael Barr's death comes less than two weeks after innocent Martin O'Rourke (24) was gunned down in Sheriff Street in a case of mistaken identity.

The scene of that shooting is less than a mile away from the Sunset pub where Barr was clinically shot three times by an assassin, including one shot to the head.

Belfast Telegraph

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