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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michael O'Toole

Deluded Daniel Kinahan claims he was no angel but only wants to help people now

Mob boss Daniel Kinahan has opened up about the moment he ran for his life when a gunman tried to kill him in Dublin’s Regency Airport Hotel.

“I see him there, maybe six metres from me. Then I go and then I hear boom-boom, boom-boom, and shots getting let go behind me,” the cartel kingpin says.

And, in a sneak preview of an interview to be aired on St Patrick’s Day, the brazen gang boss:

● Accuses the media of targeting him

● Admits he is no angel — but claims all he wants to do now is help others

● Rubbishes British intelligence claims that he was involved in the drugs trade in Africa, and

● Says he is proud of growing up in inner city Dublin.

Kinahan (44) has stayed resolutely silent ever since he was thrust into the spotlight when the Hutch gang tried to kill him in the February 2016 attack on the Regency Airport Hotel that saw them narrowly miss him — but murder his pal David Byrne (33).

The gun attack led to his cartel mounting an unprecedented revenge campaign in the feud that has now left 18 men dead — and Kinahan has finally spoken of the moment he came close to death.

Speaking in the excerpts of the interview by James English, the ex-partner of singer Kerry Katona, Kinahan describes how he saw the gunman coming for him during a weigh-in for a Clash of the Clans boxing bout he was involved in at the hotel on February 5, 2016.

A man dressed as a woman and his accomplice got to within a few metres of Kinahan and were just pulling their handguns out to shoot him when his security raised the alarm and bustled him out of the hotel room seconds before they opened fire on him.

Now, for the first time, Kinahan speaks of how he ran for his life when he realised he was about to be shot.

Mr English asks Kinahan — who has been named in the Dail as well as Irish and Spanish courts as being a gangster — what he remembers about the Regency attack.

Kinahan then replies: “I’m going to tell you and I never told anyone this story.”

The scene then shifts to Kinahan standing up and miming a hitman reaching into the back of his waistband — to take a gun out and shoot him.

Kinahan says: “I see him there, maybe six metres from me. Then I see like this, then I see the gun at the back.”

Kinahan adds: “Then I go,” and makes a gesture to show him running away from the scene.

He then says he could hear shots being fired as he fled the area.

“Then I hear boom-boom, boom-boom, and shots getting let go behind me,” he says.

Byrne was shot dead by one of three men toting Kalashnikov-style rifles and dressed in fake Garda Emergency Response Unit uniforms in the incident — and two other attendees were also injured.

Dubliner Patrick Hutch (27) was charged with the murder of Mr Byrne but the prosecution against him was later dropped after the sudden death in a Garda station of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, the lead investigator in the case.

Patrick’s uncle Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch (58), of the Paddocks, Clontarf in north Dublin, was charged with the same murder after he was extradited from Spain in September last year.

His trial is due to start in the non-jury Special Criminal Court in October — and could last for up to three months.

As well as talking about the Regency attack, Dublin-born Kinahan also slams media coverage of him — and accuses them of manipulating the truth.

“For me, the media manipulates everyone,” he says.

“They create the reality for everyone for the future, for what they want to eat, how they think, what they buy.”

He then accuses the media of writing lies about him — and of linking him to boy soldiers in Africa and massive cocaine shipments in America.

He says: “These papers wrote that I supplied these guns to these rebel kids in Africa, I had a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine went through America. Come on, if this really happened in America, I would be in America now.”

No paper has ever accused Kinahan of supplying guns to kids in Africa — but The Irish Daily Star did reveal in 2016 that British intelligence agents had said he was involved in the drugs trade there.

They printed a memo from the then UK Serious Organised crime Agency from 2009 that said Kinahan was a narcotrafficker in Europe and they suspected he was planning to expand his network into west Africa — which is now a key smuggling route for cocaine coming from South America to Europe.

And no media has ever said he supplied a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine in America — instead they have quoted law enforcement sources as running a cartel that at one stage had assets of €1 billion all around the world.

In the two-minute long preview of the three-hour interview to be released online on St Patrick’s Day next week, Kinahan also says how proud he is of his background.

Daniel Kinahan speaks to James English about the Regency shootings (@jamesenglish0/Twitter)

Kinahan was born and bred in the Oliver Bond flats complex in south inner city Dublin before he moved to Spain in the early noughties to concentrate on running his father Christy’s drugs empire.

He now lives in a palatial home in Dubai — where he is on the run from gardai and Spanish cops who want to charge him with serious crime — but he says he is proud of his roots.

Kinahan says: “I grew up the way I grew up and like I say I’m not going to say I was an angel, but I am proud of where I was brought up.

“And I am proud of how I was brought up and what I have turned things into now.

“I want to just turn everything into a positive and I want to help people.”

The full interview will be released on St Patrick’s Day and has a running time of three hours.

But anyone who wants to watch will have to pay to get access to the interview.

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