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Man shot dead in Dublin feared he was gangland feud target

Published 24/05/2016

Gareth Hutch murder: Fatal gun attack took place on Cumberland Street North in Dublin
Gareth Hutch murder: Fatal gun attack took place on Cumberland Street North in Dublin

A man shot dead near his flat had sought help in getting a new home just a day earlier because he feared he was a target in a gangland feud.

Gareth Hutch, who was in his 30s and the father of a young boy, was murdered on Tuesday morning in the Avondale House complex in Cumberland Street North in Dublin, a few hundred yards from O'Connell Street.

He is believed to be the seventh victim of the bloody dispute between the Kinahan and Hutch families.

Mr Hutch is understood to have appealed to Dublin City Council housing officers to move him from the flats because he was in fear for his life and looked after his son four days a week.

He was also concerned that the flat he was living in was an easy target as a balcony could be accessed from the ground and he claimed CCTV did not cover that part of the complex.

Nial Ring, a local councillor, said Mr Hutch had been to his office on Monday to ask for help.

"He was up in my office just yesterday," he said.

"I did out a letter for him. He was to go to the corporation this morning looking for a transfer because his life was in danger.

"I'm shocked. He was literally with me yesterday."

Mr Hutch had been charged in relation to a cash-in-transit robbery in Lucan in 2009 but disappeared before the trial and was later extradited from Holland.

It is understood he was in a car in the courtyard of Avondale House at about 10am on Tuesday when he was shot a number of times.

He was rushed to the Mater Hospital where he was pronounced dead, gardai said.

Mr Hutch is a nephew of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch, whose family and associates have been repeatedly targeted by underworld rivals since the audacious AK47 gun attack on a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February.

David Byrne, from the Crumlin area of Dublin and an associate of the Kinahan family, was murdered in that incident.

His killing was said to have been in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Gary Hutch in September last year on the Costa del Sol after a fell foul of the Kinahan outfit and their operations in Spain.

Detectives based nearby at Mountjoy appealed for anyone who was in the Cumberland Street North area on Tuesday morning or who has any information to come forward.

The scene of the shooting has been sealed off and a technical examination of the area is planned.

If confirmed, it will be the sixth gun murder linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud since the Regency.

One of the victims of the feud was innocent father-of-three Martin O'Rourke, who was killed in crossfire outside Noctor's bar on Sheriff Street in Dublin when a gunman on a bike tried to murder another associate of the Hutch family.

Six of the killings have been blamed on gunmen connected to the Kinahans.

Fianna Fail justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan said the latest killing was shocking but not surprising.

"It is not acceptable that this brutality is taking place on the streets of our capital," he said.

"Over the last few months we have seen a spate of gangland killings dominate the media, beginning with the callous shooting in the Regency Hotel in Whitehall.

"We saw condemnation from the Minister for Justice and promises to crack down on these criminal gangs. Despite this, the feuding between these criminal gangs has continued. Today we saw a shooting in broad daylight, just minutes walking distance from our cities main thoroughfare."

Mr O'Callaghan repeated his party's call for a new Garda Serious and Organised Crime Unit to be set up.

Mr Ring said the north inner city communities, which have been affected by three of the killings in the feud, want to see action from government.

"There's this feeling now of helplessness and it will turn to anger again because now we have a Government," he said.

"I don't think there's another part of this city or part of this country where seven people could be shot dead within a short period of time that something wouldn't be done."

Mr Ring called for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste and Justice Minister Frances F itzgerald to visit the area.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "This latest outrageous attack on law and order is unacceptable. I utterly condemn this morning's shooting.

"This unprecedented cycle of evil, cold-blooded violence must stop and the Government and gardai stand with the community in the north inner city."

Ms Fitzgerald said she met local people in the north inner city last week to hear their experiences of gangsterism.

"These ruthless gangs intent on violence and revenge have no place in any community in this country and they will not be tolerated," she said.

"We are confronting this and will see those involved brought to justice."

Ms Fitzgerald rejected suggestions that garda operations had been scaled back in the midst of the unprecedented gangland killings.

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