Tag Archives: Veronica Guerin

Dublin’s deadly Gang War – Kinahan vs Hutch

Two Dublin Families at war as underworld godfathers fight for supremacy

All-out gang war has broken out in Dublin, with two high-profile murders within a few days

On Monday 8th February  Eddie Hutch, 59, brother of former gangland boss Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, was shot dead by four masked men at his home in Poplar Row in Dublin’s north inner city.

 

Eddie Hutch

Detectives have no doubt it was a revenge killing for the murder three days earlier of leading Dublin criminal David Byrne, 33, in a prohibition era, Chicago-style attack at the Regency Hotel, also on Dublin’s North Side.

David Byrne’s body

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Fatal Dublin Shooting at boxing weigh-in Linked To Gangland Feud

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Byrne’s murder at a boxing weigh-in before 200 people, including children, was believed to have been in retaliation for last September’s assassination of 34-year-old Gary Hutch, a nephew of both Eddie and The Monk, near Marbella in southern Spain.

Gary Hutch

 

 

Gary Hutch is believed to have been shot dead by members of a gang run by Spain-based Dublin criminal Christy “Dapper Don” Kinahan, 59, with whom Byrne worked in massive ongoing operations to smuggle drugs into Britain and Ireland. Gary Hutch was believed by the Kinahan gang to have been a police informer.

 

Christy ‘Dapper Don ‘ Kinahan

 

 

Kinahan, who has served terms in prison, lives in a $7 million mansion near Marbella. Kinihan is thought to have stashed away hundreds of millions of euros from his criminal activities.

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Inside the Irish Mafia

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His son, Daniel, a boxing promoter, was believed to have been a target in the Friday Regency Hotel shooting by a gang of six, including three men disguised as an elite Swat unit from the gardai (Irish police), a man dressed as a woman, and two others.

 

Daniel Kinahan, who travelled from Spain for the boxing tournament – abandoned after the shootout – was reported to have escaped by diving with his bodyguard through a window.

Two of murder victim David Byrne’s criminal associates were also injured in the shooting and received hospital treatment. The hotel attack gang used IRA-style AK47 rifles and pistols in the attack.

Although the Continuity IRA on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack in a coded phone call to the BBC – claiming it was in revenge for the 2012 murder of Real IRA Dublin boss Alan Ryan – Gardai were skeptical the call was genuine. They are convinced it is a gangland war not involving paramilitaries.

Within hours of the call, and despite a huge Garda presence at checkpoints throughout Dublin, four men drove a silver BMW to Eddie Hutch’s home where they killed him immediately with several shots.

 

They abandoned their car a short distance away and made efforts to set fire to it, but it was seized in time by Gardai who also found balaclavas and a can of petrol inside the vehicle.

In the Friday shooting at the Regency Hotel – a familiar sight to tourists on the way to Dublin Airport – one child was heard on a video phone-recording scream, “Daddy, help me! What was that?”

Kevin McAnena, a sports reporter for BBC Radio Foyle in Northern Ireland who was at the weigh-in, said he dived behind a desk and a gunman peered over and aimed a rifle at him but didn’t fire.

McAnena added, “I was looking down the barrel of the gun and thought I was going to die. It was utterly terrifying.”

Detectives believe some of the gang may have been imported from abroad, but eyewitnesses also said at least one of the masked gunmen disguised as a Garda spoke with a Dublin accent.

Gardai collected video footage and photographs from the scene and they believe they are close to identifying some of the gunmen. They also say evidence in the car seized after the Eddie Hutch murder will help them trace the gunmen who killed him.

Eddie Hutch was known to the Gardai, but for mostly minor crimes. Although relatives were linked to gangland, he was not regarded as violent and was not believed to be criminally active.

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Gerry Hutch

Profile

Gerry Hutch (born 1963) is an Irish former criminal. He was regarded as the prime suspect for two of the biggest armed robberies in Irish history. Known for leading a “disciplined, ascetic lifestyle” since leaving prison in 1985, he was christened “The Monk” by Veronica Guerin, an investigative journalist who applied nicknames to Ireland’s crime bosses before being assassinated in 1996

Veronica_Guerin_real_person

See  Veronica Guerin

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Gerry “The Monk” Hutch Rare Interview

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Early life

Born in central Dublin, his career began at the age of 10 when Hutch joined the Bugsy Malone Gang of inner city youngsters (named after the feature film), which he later led, whose crimes in the 1970s included “jump-overs” – jumping over bank counters, grabbing cash and running.

He was later part of a gang involved in major robberies and received many convictions between 1970 and 1983 intermittently spending time in prison. His gang was said to have amassed an estimated IR£40 million from a series of bank robberies, jewellery heists, and fraud scams spanning almost eight years. Hutch has also been awarded money from legal actions in Irish courts. These included £8,500 won from Securicor Ireland in June 1991, £2,000 from the Sunday Tribune newspaper in a libel action and around £26,000 won in legal actions against the Irish state.

Hutch admitted to being a “convicted criminal” in a 2008 interview with The Independent, but insisted that he made his money through property deals, not crime.

Corinthians Boxing Club

In 1998 he was a founder member of the Corinthians Boxing Club in Dublin and has served as treasurer for the club. The club has a full gym and a boxing ring. The latter was donated by film director Jim Sheridan after making the film The Boxer.

Criminal Assets Bureau

In 1999, in the course of court proceedings brought against Hutch by the Irish state’s anti money laundering agency, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Detective Chief Superintendent Felix McKenna stated that Hutch had been involved in the IR£1.7 million robbery of an armoured van at Marino Mart in January 1987 and the IR£3 million armed robbery of a Brinks Allied Security Depot in Clonshaugh, County Dublin, in 1995, which had been the largest cash robbery in the State at the time.

Hutch eventually reached an IR£1.2m settlement with the CAB to “cover back taxes and interest for a nine-year period”.

Carry Any Body

After the CAB settlement, Hutch applied for and was granted a taxi licence, and set up the limousine service Carry Any Body. The name is a humorous reference to the Criminal Assets Bureau.

He has featured in the Irish media as he has driven celebrities  including Mike Tyson on their visits to Ireland.

Film and television

Hutch is depicted in the film Veronica Guerin, played by Alan Devine.  It is based on the life of the late Irish journalist Veronica Guerin who had interviewed him.

Hutch appeared on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme in March 2008 where he was interviewed about his life and criminal career. Hutch denied any criminal activity, since his last prison sentence, other than tax evasion.

Hutch was the subject of investigation in the Irish TV3 channel’s television series, Dirty Money.  Episode 5, which aired March 2008 was solely devoted to the assets seized by the CAB from Hutch and the threat to seize assets from his family

See  Veronica Guerin

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Veronica Guerin – 1958 – 1996.Life & Death

Veronica Guerin

5 July 1958 – 26 June 1996

Veronica Guerin (5 July 1958 – 26 June 1996) was an Irish crime reporter who was murdered on 26 June 1996 by drug lords, an event which helped establish the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin real person.jpg

Guerin in the 1990s
Born (1958-07-05)5 July 1958[1]
Dublin, Ireland
Died 26 June 1996(1996-06-26) (aged 37)
Naas Dual Carriageway, Newlands Cross, County Dublin
Education Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation Accountant, journalist
Years active 1990–1996
Notable credit(s)
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Graham Turley
Children Cathal

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Dublin Gangland

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Early and personal life

The daughter of accountant Christopher and his wife Bernadette,  Veronica was nicknamed “Ronnie.” She and her four siblings were born and brought up in Artane, Dublin, and attended Catholic school where she excelled in athletics. Besides basketball and camogie, aged 15 she played in the all-Ireland football finals with a slipped disc.  Guerin studied accountancy at Trinity College, Dublin.

Guerin married Graham Turley, and the couple had a son Cathal. A big fan of Manchester United football team, her prized possession was a photo of her and Eric Cantona taken on a visit to Old Trafford.

PR career: 1983–1990

After she graduated, her father employed her at his company; but following his death three years later, she changed professions and started a public relations firm in 1983, which she ran for seven years.

In 1983–84, she served as secretary to the Fianna Fáil group at the New Ireland Forum.[5] She served as Charles Haughey‘s personal assistant, and became a family friend, taking holidays with his children. In 1987 she served as election agent and party treasurer in Dublin North for Seán Haughey.

Journalism career: 1990–1996

In 1990, she changed careers again, switching to journalism as a reporter with the Sunday Business Post and Sunday Tribune, working under editor Damien Kiberd. Craving first-hand information, she pursued a story directly to the source with little regard for her personal safety, to engage those she deemed central to a story. This allowed her to build close relationships with both the legitimate authorities, such as the Garda Síochána (police), and the criminals, with both sides respecting her diligence by providing highly detailed information. She also reported on Irish Republican Army activities in the Republic of Ireland.

From 1994 onwards, she began to write about criminals for the Sunday Independent. Using her accountancy knowledge to trace the proceeds of illegal activity, she used street names or pseudonyms for underworld figures to avoid Irish libel laws.

When she began to cover drug dealers, and gained information from convicted drugs criminal John Traynor, she received numerous death threats. The first violence against her occurred in October 1994, when two shots were fired into her home after her story on murdered crime kingpin Martin Cahill was published. Guerin dismissed the “warning”. The day after writing an article on Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, on 30 January 1995, she answered her doorbell to a man pointing a revolver at her head. The gunman missed and shot her in the leg. Regardless, she vowed to continue her investigations. Independent Newspapers installed a security system to protect her, and the police gave her a 24-hour escort; however, she did not approve of this, saying that it hampered her work.[citation needed]

On 13 September 1995, convicted criminal John Gilligan, Traynor’s boss, attacked her when she confronted him about his lavish lifestyle with no source of income. He later called her at home and threatened to kidnap and rape her son, and kill her if she wrote anything about him.

Guerin received the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists in December 1995.

Murder

Murder Scene

 

 

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Veronica Guerin – Murder

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On the evening of 25 June 1996, Gilligan drug gang members Charles Bowden, Brian Meehan, Peter Mitchell and Seamus Ward had met at their distribution premises on the Greenmount Industrial Estate. Bowden, the gang’s distributor and ammunition quartermaster, had supplied the three with a Colt Python revolver loaded with .357 Magnum Semiwadcutter bullets.

On 26 June 1996, while driving her red Opel Calibra, Guerin stopped at a red traffic light on the Naas Dual Carriageway near Newlands Cross, on the outskirts of Dublin, unaware she was being followed. She was shot six times, fatally, by one of two men sitting on a motorcycle.

About an hour after Guerin was murdered, a meeting took place in Moore Street, Dublin, between Bowden, Meehan, and Mitchell. Bowden later denied under oath in court that the purpose of the meeting was the disposal of the weapon but rather that it was an excuse to appear in a public setting to place them away from the incident.

At the time of her murder, Traynor was seeking a High Court order against Guerin, to prevent her from publishing a book about his involvement in organised crime.[

Guerin was killed two days before she was due to speak at a Freedom Forum conference in London. The topic of her segment was “Dying to Tell the Story: Journalists at Risk.

Her funeral was attended by Ireland’s Taoiseach John Bruton, and the head of the armed forces. It was covered live by Raidió Teilifís Éireann. On 4 July, labour unions across Ireland called for a moment of silence in her memory, which was duly observed by people around the country. Guerin is buried in Dardistown Cemetery, County Dublin.

Aftermath

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Ward charged with murder

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Guerin’s murder caused outrage, and Taoiseach John Bruton called it “an attack on democracy”. The Oireachtas, the Irish parliament, realised the potential of using tax enforcement laws as a means of deterring and punishing criminals. Within a week of her murder, it enacted the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 and the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996, so that assets purchased with money obtained through crime could be seized by the government. This led to the formation of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

After the murder of Guerin, Bowden was arrested as were the other members of Gilligan’s gang who were still in Ireland. In an agreement with the Attorney General of Ireland, Bowden agreed to turn state’s witness, and become the first person to enter the Republic of Ireland’s Witness Security Programme. Granted immunity from prosecution for the murder of Guerin, he was the only witness to give evidence against all four drug gang members at their trials in the Special Criminal Court: Patrick Holland, Paul “Hippo” Ward, Brian Meehan and John Gilligan. The investigation into Guerin’s death resulted in over 150 other arrests and convictions, as well as seizures of drugs and arms. Drug crime in Ireland dropped 15 percent in the following 12 months.

Patrick “Dutchy” Holland

In 1997 while acting as a Garda witness, Bowden named Patrick “Dutchy” Holland in court as the man he supplied the gun to, and hence suspected of shooting Guerin. Holland was never convicted of the murder, and he denied the accusation up until his death in June 2009 while in prison in the UK.

In November 1998, after evidence from Bowden and others, Paul “Hippo” Ward was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison as an accomplice, because he had disposed of the murder weapon and the motorbike. This conviction was later overturned on appeal.

Brian Meehan fled to Amsterdam with Traynor (who later escaped to Portugal). After the court dismissed additional evidence from Bowden, Meehan was convicted on the testimony of gang member turned state’s witness Russell Warren, who had followed Guerin’s movements in the hours before the murder, and then called Meehan on a mobile phone with the details. Meehan was convicted of murdering Guerin, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

John Gilligan left Ireland the day before Guerin was murdered, on a flight to Amsterdam. He was arrested 12 months later in the United Kingdom trying to board a flight for Amsterdam, after a routine search of his baggage revealed $500,000 in cash. Claiming it was the proceeds of gambling, he was charged with money laundering. After a three-year legal battle, he was extradited to Ireland on 3 February 2000. Tried and acquitted of Guerin’s murder, he was later convicted of importing 20 tonnes of cannabis and sentenced to 28 years in prison, reduced to 20 years on appeal.

Pursued by CAB, in January 2008, Gilligan made a court appearance in an attempt to stop the Irish State from selling off his assets. He accused Traynor of having ordered Guerin’s murder without his permission. Despite the presiding judge’s attempt to silence Gilligan, he continued to blame a botched Gardaí investigation and planted evidence as the reason for his current imprisonment. Traynor had fled to Portugal after Guerin’s murder, and having been on the run from British authorities since 1992, resided mainly in Spain and the Netherlands from 1996 onwards. After a failed extradition from the Netherlands in 1997, which brought Meehan back to Ireland, in 2010 Traynor was arrested after a joint UK SOCA/Regiokorpsen operation in Amsterdam. Traynor, as of 2013, is living in Kent, England after serving time in an English gaol. It is reported that he is still wanted for tax evasion in Ireland.

Turley remarried in 2011

Memorial

Monument to Veronica Guerin, located in Dublin Castle gardens

 

A memorial statue to Guerin is located in Dubh Linn Gardens, in the grounds of Dublin Castle.

On 2 May 1997, at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, her name and those of 38 other international journalists who died in the line of duty in 1996 were added to the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial. Her husband addressed the audience:

“Veronica stood for freedom to write. She stood as light, and wrote of life in Ireland today, and told the truth. Veronica was not a judge, nor was she a juror, but she paid the ultimate price with the sacrifice of her life.”

In 2000, Guerin was named as one of the International Press Institute‘s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.

In 2007, the Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship was set up at Dublin City University, offering a bursary intended to meet the cost of fees and part of the general expenses of an MA in Journalism student who wishes to specialise in investigative journalism

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The murder of Veronica Guerin

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See Dublin’s deadly Gang War

david byrne bobdy

See Dublin’s deadly Gang War