NewsCrime Desk

Cartel faces bitter split in hunt for Byrne's assassins following Regency bloodbath

Daniel Kinahan
Daniel Kinahan

THE cartel is facing a ma­jor rift following a bitter falling out between the Byrne clan and crime god­father Daniel Kinahan, the Sunday World can reveal.

A close associate of David Byrne is said to have had a 'blazing row' with Daniel Kinahan – who is currently back in Marbella, Spain – in recent weeks.

The Dublin gangster is believed to be deeply unhappy with the Kinahan brothers over their response to the murder of "Baby Davy".

Sources have confirmed to the Sunday World that Eddie Hutch's murder was "not enough" for the crime boss and he wanted each of the Regency Shooters executed.

However, Daniel Kinahan is said to have urged restraint because of the potential impact more killings could have on the 'business'.

But despite his wishes, underworld sources have revealed that the Byrne gang member is making it very clear that they are offering a six-figure sum to anyone who whacks Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch.

Gardai are now probing if the murder of Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan could have been carried out without the express permission of the Spanish-based overlord.

The bitter row between Kinahan and the members of the Byrne criminal faction comes following weeks of tensions between Daniel Kinahan and Liam Byrne – who previously effectively ran Ireland's largest drugs network.

Liam Byrne (centre)

It has potential to split the cartel into two factions – with 'Fat' Freddie Thompson, Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh and Liam Roe all siding with the Byrnes because of their family connections.

A source has said that Kinahan had started to sideline his former pal following the Regency Hotel shooting and has brought mobster Paul Rice back into his centre circle.

This caused "extreme paranoia" within the Byrne camp and this, along with the reaction to Byrne's murder, led to a blazing row in recent days.

The Kinahans, for a long time, have been convinced they have "a rat" in their inner circle.

Gary Hutch had previously been held responsible, but the seizures of their product have continued since he was booted out of the gang and since his murder.

They are now beginning to suspect that the leak may be coming from the Byrne camp.

Paul Rice has long been close to David Byrne's father, James 'Jaws' Byrne, but has a bad relationship with his son, Liam Byrne.

Liam Rice

As a result of Daniel and Liam's close friendship, Rice had been sidelined along with another north inner-city gang member and fitness fanatic who also fell out of favour.

However, Rice is still trusted by Christy Kinahan Snr who sees him as capable and level headed.

Rice also has serious contacts within the INLA camp including Belfast dissident Gerard Mackin and a Dundalk INLA member known to be a supplier of high-powered weapons.

It is understood that the Byrne faction suspect that Rice may have had secret meetings with the Kinahans which they were not informed about - and that is making them even more paranoid.

A source told the Sunday World: "Rice's connections make him very useful and he believes he can take over Dublin south.

"He also believes his new pal, Mr Big, can look after the Northside."

The north Dublin criminal, nicknamed Mr Big, controls a large part of the drugs trade in the city and in North Leinster.

He was responsible for ordering the murder of RIRA chief Alan Ryan in 2012. Although traditionally not part of the Kinahan gang, Mr Big has struck up close ties with Rice in recent months and they have regularly been spotted together.

Meanwhile, a source has revealed that Gerry Hutch is also feeling the heat now following the recent seizure of weapons.

Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch in disguise at brother Eddie's funeral

The Monk is under pressure after being told by Northern-based dissidents that he has to replace the AK47s which were lost in the raids.

Gardai investigating Duggan's murder will also look at whether he may have had any role in connecting Hutch to the paramilitaries because The Monk has not been in contact with them personally in recent years.

He had refused to do business with them over the past ten years, preferring to keep his investments abroad instead.

Daniel Kinahan was pictured last week at the MGM gym in Marbella.

Kinahan is continuing his involvement in the boxing world and determined to keep MGM going with his boxer pal Matthew Macklin, who has no involvement in crime.

Macklin and other MGM fighters will be on the undercard to the IBF world heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Charles Martin at the O2 in London this month.