NewsCrime Desk

Family of murdered Irishman arrive into Dublin on same flight as intended target

Trevor O'Neill
Trevor O'Neill

THE FAMILY of innocent murder victim Trevor O'Neill last night arrived home from Spain on the same flight as the intended target of the hit.

His partner Susan and their three children were on a flight which arrived at Dublin Airport from Palma, just before midnight.

Jonathan Hutch was also understood to be on the flight.

Mr Hutch, a relative of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch, had been hiding out in the same apartment complex Mr O'Neill and his family were staying in for their holiday.

He was talking to the group as they walked to a restaurant when the gunmen struck, killing the wrong man.

Passengers from the flight disembarked at Terminal 1 in Dublin Airport.

However, a source said that the family was escorted out a private exit and did not come through the public arrivals hall. Mr Hutch was also taken out a separate exit.

The family should have been landing in the airport after a sunny Spanish holiday - relaxed and re-energised.

Instead gardai kept a discreet presence at the airport, as the family arrived in Dublin to try and come to terms with the horror that has befallen them.

Earlier in the night, officers had set up a checkpoint and were stopping motorists as they drove into the airport.

Mr O'Neill (42), from Drimnagh, was on holiday in Majorca with family when he was brutally shot dead in a case of mistaken identity at around 9pm on Wednesday.

His partner Susan was wheeling their child in a pushchair when he was gunned down in front of his family in the resort of Costa de la Calma.

It is understood that he was shot five times, including at least twice in the back, by a three-man hit team wearing disguises who then fled from the scene.

Gardai believe Hutch was the intended target of the savage murder.

They believe the botched hit was carried out by the Kinahan cartel as part of their feud with the Hutch mob, which has directly led to eight murders since in began last September.

Speaking to RTE News after the murder, Susan described his death as "horrific" and said that she was devastated.

She described how on Wednesday, armed police brought her and her three children to a safe house in Palma to spend the night.

She didn't hear that Trevor had died until relatives contacted her from Ireland with the devastating news on Thursday morning.

The couple had been together for 20 years and they had been holidaying on the Spanish island since last Saturday.

The trip had been a present for Mr O'Neill's 42nd birthday. His partner has said their three children - aged 5, 7 and 12 – have been left "petrified".

Mr O'Neill worked for Dublin City Council and his employers paid tribute to him after learning of the horrific murder.

"The management and staff of Dublin City Council are shocked to hear of the tragic death of Trevor O'Neill in Majorca.

"Trevor was a hard working and dedicated employee of Dublin City Council.

"On behalf of the management team, city councillors and staff of Dublin City Council, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Trevor's family and friends," a statement said.