A sister of feud victim Michael Barr has revealed that Daniel Kinahan tried to apologise to her family and compensate them for his murder.
Republican Michael Barr, 34, was shot dead while working as a barman in the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s inner city on April 25, 2016.
The Strabane native was executed on the orders of the ruthless Kinahan cartel over an unproven belief that he was involved in the murder of David Byrne in Dublin’s Regency Hotel – two months prior.
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And now in an exclusive interview with the Shattered Lives podcast, Michael’s sister Noeleen has revealed for the first time how an “intermediary” later came to her family and tried to issue an alleged apology on behalf of mob boss Daniel Kinahan.
“Not too long ago I learned that an intermediary actually approached somebody and they said ‘Daniel Kinahan wanted to send his apologies and wanted to give the family money,” she said.
“They wanted to compensate the family and say sorry for the murder of Michael. So they were told where to stick their money – blood money.”
Noeleen told us that the person, who is a known associate of the Kinahan cartel, visited someone close to her family and issued the shocking message in person.
“All I was told was an intermediary came to somebody close to us, and they actually just said ‘Daniel Kinahan sends his apologies and wants to offer the family compensation.’
“To say sorry for the murder of Michael and that they made a mistake,” she added.
“But I mean yeah they obviously know that Michael was innocent and they got it very very wrong.”
But Noeleen said she and her family refused the money straight away, and later in the podcast told us how she longs for the day that Daniel Kinahan is in court.
“I hope I live long enough to see that man in court. I want to look him in the eye,” she said.
The podcast episode, which comes out today on Spotify and Apple, also focuses on Noeleen’s memories of her brother, and the moment she learned of his death.
The grieving sister also revealed to us how her brother actually feared for his life in the weeks prior to his murder – and that he was considering returning to Strabane just days before he was killed.
“Well we started reading articles in the paper and we started to worry for Michael at that time after the Regency happened,” she said.
But she said her brother insisted the feud and had “nothing to do with me” and that he didn’t fear for his life until closer to his death in April when his bar was raided and word was going around about a Strabane link to the Regency incident.
Strabane native Kevin Murray was seen running from the Regency Hotel wearing a flat cap and brandishing a handgun on the day of the murder – and the family began to fear that there was a perceived link between him and Michael.
“Every one of us, we were all telling him to come home, and I remember Daddy then near the end, before he died [saying] ‘Michael you have to come home,’ and he says ‘aye I know Da, I know,’” Noeleen said.
“All I can say is he did start to fear for his life and he was making the decision to come home,” Noeleen revealed. On Murray, Noeleen says her brother would have known him because everyone in Strabane knew one another.
She also told how she immediately recognised him as the “Flat Cap” shooter on the now infamous Sunday World front page on February 7, 2016.
“The first thing I seen was the front page of the Sunday World and I seen Kevin Murray. And I was like, ‘what the hell?’
“So that was my reaction to it, never ever putting Michael and that connection to him.
“I knew it was him right away.”
Murray later died from motor neurone disease before gardai could ever extradite him to be charged over the Regency Hotel incident. Noeleen also spoke about the horror of bringing Michael’s body back home – and how one of his young children couldn’t believe he was gone.
“I remember his kids coming up from Dublin the next day and them having to hold hands going into the room and one of them says, ‘why is daddy not waking up?’”
The family, she said, were initially told to keep Michael’s coffin closed due to the graphic nature of the injuries he had incurred.
But Noeleen said her father made the decision to open the coffin during the wake – and the family got to say their final goodbyes. We were told no open coffin. So we were all sitting in the living room anxiously waiting to hear something, and all I heard was ‘Oh Jesus come in and see him. He’s beautiful.’
“So I stood up and I just said ‘family only first’. But you know what? Looking back but we all went in and he was just the way we remembered him,” she said.
The tragic barman was shot seven times in the head by a ruthless hit-team that have since been caught and jailed for their roles in the horrific murder.
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