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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
John Hand

Senior garda vows to get Kinahan cartel as multiple investigation files are sent to DPP

A senior garda has insisted the three leading members of the Kinahan cartel will be brought to justice as he confirmed a number of investigation files have been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, who heads the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), has also told how gangland crime has moved from “highly organised” to “unstructured localised groups” which has seen a level of “volatility and uncertainty.”

The DOCB has caged 68 members of the Kinahan cartel since it went to war with the Hutch faction, which ignited following the February 2016 Regency Hotel attack which claimed the life of David Byrne.

READ MORE: Irish soldier in Lebanon runs Christmas Day marathon for fallen comrade Sean Rooney

But its three leading members Daniel Kinahan, 45, Christy Snr, 65, and Christy Jnr, 42, remain at large despite the US Government placing a €5million bounty on their heads in April.

Asked specifically about the trio, Asst Comm Kelly told RTE: “None of the senior members of the Kinahan organised crime group will come voluntarily back to Ireland.

“We have submitted a number of investigation files to the Director of Public Prosecutions and we have some other ones underway in relation to other senior members of the Kinahan organised crime group.

“So I’m confident senior members of that group will be brought to justice. Where that happens, I think at this stage it is too early to say.”

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said earlier this year it was more likely “international law enforcement will bring them to book”.

Asst Comm Kelly said they are continuing to work with law enforcement abroad, adding that DOCB members were recently in the UAE meeting officials in Dubai, where the Kinahans are based, recently as they have done on numerous occasions.

The top garda also discussed a change in trends since landing serious blows on the Kinahans.

A drugs mob known as “The Family” based in Ballyfermot, Dublin are said to have taken over from the Kinahan mob as the top drug distributors in the country.

Kelly said: “Anytime you’ve an impact on a group there will be a vacuum. There will be groups that move into that because there’s obviously huge financial gain for them.

“For us, we’re absolutely not taking our eye off the ball of those emerging groups.

“And we’re running successful operations on a daily basis out of drugs and organised crime targeting those groups.”

There were just three threat to life operations – where investigators target, intercept and foil murders – this year compared to 27 one year at the height of the Kinahan and Hutch feud by specialist DOCB units.

However gangland crime has claimed six lives this year – compared to two in 2021, much of which was in the pandemic – with the emergence of more disorganised and volatile local gangs.

One of those men was James Whelan, who was blasted to death in April as part of the Finglas feud, as his associates went to war with Mr Flashy’s “Gucci Gang”.

The ongoing dispute has seen gangland crime cross into a different level of recklessness with continuous attempts to murder with shootings, firebombs, daylight kidnapping and even a grenade attack.

There are also other ongoing and simmering feuds in West Dublin.

The gang is controlled by Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy Kinahan, and his brother Christopher Kinahan Jnr (Irish Mirror)

Asst Comm Kelly said: “What we’ve seen is a move away from those highly organised gangland murders to now more unstructured localised groups who are operating in those areas that you have spoken about.

“So my role here in organised and serious crime is about providing support and assistance to local units, particularly in Dublin.

Separately, Asst Comm Kelly also addressed Garda corruption.

Retired Garda superintendent John Murphy, 62, was caught with a €260,000 haul of cannabis in 2021 and was jailed for six-and-a-half years in October.

But the ex senior cop also remains under investigation in relation to confidential information allegedly being passed onto the Hutch gang.

Asst Comm Kelly said Garda headquarters take garda corruption very seriously, insisting that it’s a “policing priority” but added: “I would not say it’s widespread.”


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