Belfast Telegraph

Dublin feud could get even bloodier if dissidents enter fray to avenge Michael Barr

By Paul Williams

Dissident republican Michael Barr (34) was targeted by the Kinahan gang in Dublin because they believed he sourced the weapons used in another gangland killing.

The murder of the Co Tyrone man on Monday night has sparked fears the New IRA will now become embroiled in the bloody gang war between the Kinahan and Hutch cartels.

The 35-year-old, from Strabane, who was living in Dublin's north inner city, became the sixth victim of the feud when he was shot dead in the Sunset House pub near Croke Park.

The latest murder signals that the ongoing feud between members of the Kinahan drugs cartel and associates of murdered Gary Hutch, a nephew of crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, shows no sign of abating.

It is understood leading gardai are "extremely concerned" that the latest killing will lead to a further escalation.

"Barr was a senior member of the New IRA grouping," a senior source said. "The legitimate fear is that his associates in the north and the Republic will now feel they have to avenge his murder by striking back at the Kinahan cartel.

"If the dissidents become an active third element in this feud, the body count could be in the dozens within months."

Barr became a target for the Kinahan cartel - headed up by Christy Kinahan Snr and his son Daniel (37) - because of his close association with one of the six-man assassination team that stormed the Regency Hotel in Dublin in February and murdered David Byrne (34), a close friend and associate of Daniel Kinahan, during a boxing event.

Barr's associate, nicknamed 'Flat Cap', is also a dissident and was pictured fleeing the hotel shortly afterwards along with a man dressed as a woman.

In the days before the attack, it is believed Barr travelled to Donegal with another well-known criminal to collect the AK-47s used by gunmen dressed as fake gardai in the attack.

On Monday night, two men who were described as slim and wearing masks, burst into The Sunset House while a driver waited outside.

They shot Barr a number of times in the head and body before fleeing in an Audi A6 that was found burned out in the nearby Drumcondra area.

It is understood that the killers had a "spotter" in the pub who was in contact with the assassination team.

It has since emerged that Ross Hutch (24), another nephew of Gerry Hutch who is considered a target for the Kinahan gang, fled from the pub as the gunmen opened fire.

Separately, gardai are satisfied that the murder of Thomas Farnan (37) in Dublin on the same night was not linked to the feud.

Elsewhere, a 41-year-old man died in another shooting at a house in Cork city yesterday. Another man was present at the time and was being questioned.

Gardai are believed to be examining the theory that it may have been an accidental discharge of a weapon.

Belfast Telegraph


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