NewsCrime Desk

Gardai form ring of steel around hospital containing feud gun victim

Gardai form ring of steel around hospital containing feud gun victim

Armed detectives are keeping watch over gangland target James 'Mago' Gately as he continues to recover in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.

Security has been increased in and near the hospital grounds over fears the Kinahan cartel will make another attempt on the 30-year-old's life.

The Dubliner is being treated for gunshot wounds to his neck and throat. It has emerged that doctors have managed to remove the bullet that was lodged in his jaw following his shooting at a north Dublin petrol station on Wednesday. The feared criminal was struck four times in the chest, but the bullets lodged into the bullet-proof vest he was wearing.

Armed checkpoints have now been set up in the area around the hospital to prevent any further attacks. Members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) have been patrolling the Beaumont area.

A source last night said the increased Garda activity was to protect both Gately and members of the public who could be injured if an attack were to be carried out.

"The increase in armed and uniformed Garda activity is to protect both Mago and the general public. Undercover detectives are also carrying out patrols near Beaumont Hospital, because gardaí are taking no chances in case the Kinahan cartel are audacious enough to attempt another hit," the source said.

Gately was targeted on Wednesday afternoon as he got into his car at the busy Topaz service station in Clonshaugh, north Dublin. A hit team approached the father of two and, without getting out of their 08-D black Lexus, fired a number of shots.

They fled the scene along the M1 and their vehicle was later recovered burnt out in Ardee, Co Louth.

Gardaí believe Gately's partner was placed under surveillance by members of the Kinahan cartel at her Coolock home in the days before the attack. It emerged Gately had returned to the north Dublin property days before the attempted murder.

Originally from the north inner city, the Hutch gang associate had been staying at various safehouses in Northern Ireland in recent weeks. The Kinahan gang had recently gathered detailed information on Gately's movements.

"He changed his car on an almost bi-weekly basis, but the cartel was aware of what vehicle he was driving and when he was returning to Dublin," a senior source said last night.

Gately had previously acted as an enforcer for the Kinahan mob, but aligned himself with the Hutch faction following the murder of his childhood friend Gary Hutch in September 2015.

Appealing for information on the shooting, Supt Finbarr Murphy said that bystanders could have been injured.

"What makes it more outrageous is that it was a sunny afternoon at 1.30pm," he said. "There were bullets in different directions. Any innocent person could have been injured in this attack."

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller