DUBLIN — In this city, gangland killings have become such quotidian events that they are increasingly greeted with a shrug rather than howls of outrage. Provided no innocent bystanders are caught up in the fray, many Dubliners quietly regard gangster-on-gangster murders as a punishment that not only fits the crime but also frees up the courts.
However, a shocking CCTV video of a man being pumped full of lead in broad daylight yesterday by two masked assassins just a few hundred yards from a Garda (police) checkpoint has electrified the country.
The dead man has been identified as Gareth Hutch, 35, a cousin of one of Dublin’s most feared gangsters, Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, a legendary Irish armed robber.
Gareth is believed to have been killed on the orders of the Kinahan gang, a Dublin crime family now based in Spain, where its boss, Christy Kinahan, is living. The Kinahan gang is said to be one of the biggest crime organizations in Europe, with deep links to the Mexican drug cartels.
The latest round of killing began when, on Sept. 24, 2015, Gary Hutch, a nephew of The Monk, was blasted to death on the Costa Del Sol. On Feb. 5 this year, a senior member of the Kinahan gang was gunned down at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in North Dublin by four gunmen dressed as Gardai, including one dressed as a woman officer.
Since then the Kinahans have taken bloody revenge, wiping out four members of the Hutch family in the endless feud. Tragically, a blameless father of three was also shot dead by the Kinahans in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
Little wonder, then, that Dubliners have become blasé about criminals shooting each other—but the graphic CCTV footage of yesterday’s murder meant that today’s papers all carried the story on their front page. The airwaves of talk radio stations have been full of little else.
In the video, Hutch can be seen casually taking off his jacket and chucking it in the back of his car when two men in hoodies start running towards him. They corner him against the car and shoot him six times in the head, neck, and chest before running off.
Hutch is alleged to have been a “back-up” member of the gang that carried out the murder at the weigh-in.
He clearly was aware that his life was at risk. He was in the process of appealing to Dublin City Council housing officers to move him because he was, according to a report in The Irish Independent, “concerned that the flat he was living in was an easy target as… CCTV did not cover that part of the complex.
The Irish Times reports that up to 10 “close associates” of the Hutches are “at immediate risk as the Kinahan gang seeks retaliation for the Regency shooting.”
Irish newspapers today are reporting that a 29-year-old man is in custody in connection with the murder caught on tape, and that he handed handing himself over to Gardai.
Next month will mark 20 years since the murder of the crusading Irish crime journalist Veronica Guerin, an event which prompted an extraordinary display of public revulsion at Irish drug lords and ultimately led to the setting up of the Criminal Assets Bureau, a state body dedicated to depriving gangster’s of their ill-gotten gains.
It was envisaged at the time that the CAB would be a whole new way to attack the culture of drug crime and gangsterism. But these brutal images of criminals brazenly shooting a man down in broad daylight are graphic reminders to Dubliners just how little progress has really been made.