Cops brace for fresh wave of violence as Kinahan targets Monk's financial network
Gardai fear a fresh wave of gangland killings aimed at cutting off The Monk’s finances and starving him of funds to fight back against the Kinahan cartel.
It is understood that this week’s killing of Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan was connected to an attempted assassination of The Monk’s ‘banker’ in recent weeks in a brutal new front of the gang war.
The middle-class businessman who handles investments for the veteran criminal and washes dirty money for him was shot at twice at the door of his home in south Dublin.
He fell to the ground and pretended to be dead before his would-be assassin fled the scene.
Kirwan is believed to have worked with ‘the Banker’ and tried to intervene on his behalf with the Kinahans.
However, he was already under suspicion himself, as a close associate was arrested in recent months with a stash of ammunition that was suspected to belong to the Hutch faction.
Gardai believed they had control of the violent feud in recent months after dismantling a north Dublin inner-city killing cell that had been aligned to the Kinahans and which was believed to be responsible for at least four feud murders and the attempted hit on The Monk in Lanzarote late last year.
However, they now fear a second wave of killings and say it is moving into unchartered waters, where the Kinahan mob see those providing financial support to the Hutch mob as fair targets.
Kirwan was blasted at least four times as he sat in the car in his driveway in Ronanstown in west Dublin. His partner was in the car at the time and is said to be deeply traumatised by what she witnessed.
Kirwan, a childhood friend of The Monk, was closely linked to paramilitaries in the north inner city and had been involved in extortion rackets and anti-drug movements for years.
It is not known if he had any direct involvement in the Regency Hotel attack which left Kinahan lieutenant David Byrne dead.
However, he did show his support for The Monk when he drove him to his brother Eddie’s funeral.
Taxi driver Eddie was murdered just three days after Byrne when he was shot at nine times at the door of his inner city home.
The funeral marked the last time The Monk was seen in public since the feud began.
Kirwan grew up in the Summerhill area of Dublin’s inner city and is believed to have been part of the so-called Bugsy Malone gang along with Hutch, who went on to lead the group of tearaways who were notorious for grabbing cash and running.
The 62-year-old went on to take a prominent role in anti-drug campaigns in the 1990s and was even interviewed for a TV documentary in 1994.
In it he spoke of his campaign to rid inner-city flat complexes of drug dealers.
However, gardai believe that he was a criminal himself and was investigated for demanding money with menaces from local business people as well as his associations with IRA figures.
He moved first to Kilbarrack on Dublin’s northside and later to Ronanstown, where he was living with his partner in recent years.
It is understood that Kirwan provided security for a number of individuals including the man known as ‘the Banker’, who survived the assassination attempt just weeks ago.
He has been running scared after surviving a shooting at his home in November – which he didn’t report to gardai for a week.
Officers believe that the Kinahan cartel planned his murder in order to cut off The Monk’s money supply and starve him of funds, should he be planning another attack on them.
They are also furious with ‘the Banker’ because he invested cartel money but says he can’t pay it back after he got caught up in a dodgy pyramid scheme.
Over the course of a massive money-laundering investigation into the late Jim Mansfield and the Kinahan cartel, gardai have established that ‘the Banker’ inherited a business which became the underworld bank of choice for paramilitaries and gangland criminals.
The service was established for the IRA’s southern command and other dissident organisations, including the INLA, during the Troubles.