Gerry Hutch drawn into feud with Costa mob
Gangland is on the brink of its very own 2016 Rising as mobs prepare for war over turf, money and to settle scores.
A hundred years after the men and women of 1916 fought the British, a very different type of war is set to play out on the streets of Dublin.
Gardaí believe there will be blood as the biggest feud in gangland history teeters on a knife edge – with a major split in the Kinahan drugs cartel drawing retired crime lord Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch back into a world he hoped he had left behind for good.
Gardai have issued 20 people with warnings that their lives are in danger, but the Kinahan feud isn’t the only one bubbling under. In Cabra and Coolock rival factions are gearing up for war over two of the most lucrative drug turfs in the capital.
In Limerick, Sligo, Cork and the south east, gangs are jostling for power as Ireland’s economy is set to boom again and cocaine makes a big comeback.
Senior Gardaí are predicting that 2016 will be the most violent in years. And they believe if the Kinahan and Hutch factions go to war there will be slaughter of unprecedented levels, with money being no object when it comes to ordering hits.
The Monk has been in retirement for years, enjoying life in sunny Lanzarote and watching his nest egg build with investments.
However, with threats now issued to his wider family, Hutch has been forced home for crisis meetings with old colleagues and has to make a decision whether or not to back his side in a brutal war.
The murder of his nephew Gary Hutch in Spain last September was the catalyst of what is feared will be a tit-for-tat killing campaign similar to the Crumlin-Drimnagh cocaine wars, which claimed 17 victims.
Then, former pals ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Brian Rattigan fell out and became rival drug bosses. The feud kicked off after the murder of Declan Gavin in 2001 and sparked a decade-long cycle of gun violence and death on the streets of Dublin.
Like most things in the underworld, the real fight was for drug money – and the eye-watering amount that can be made from trafficking narcotics.
At one point in 2005 it was estimated that the Thompson mob alone were making so much money they didn’t know what to do with it.
On a good month, when a shipment arrived intact, they pocketed more than €250,000 a week. On a bad week they still made up to €30,000.
Among those killed on the Rattigan side were Joseph Rattigan, John Roche and his brother Noel and Terry Dunleavy. Thompson lost gang members Darren Geoghegan, Paul Warren and Wayne Zambra, among others.
Brian Rattigan was eventually jailed for life, while Thompson hid out on the Costa del Sol for a number of years, regularly returning to Dublin. There he has become a key member of the Kinahan mob, along with his cousins Liam and David Byrne.
The trio have made a tight alliance with Daniel Kinahan – son of cartel head Christy Snr – and a one-time housemate of Gary Hutch.
In fact, for years Daniel and Gary were considered best friends and even shared a plush villa at Vista Golf in Puerto Banus. while Hutch carried his uncle’s name, the mobster had turned his back on the Monk’s stock and trade of armed robbery after he discovered that there was easier money to be made through drugs.
But it all went wrong when he was branded a rat and ostracised from his own gang. He learned the real truth of the drugs world in September when, under the Spanish sun, he was gunned down in cold blood.
In the months since his murder, his brother Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch has been put under protection in Mountjoy Prison after two attempts on his life.
Gerry and Derek Hutch
And their father, Patsy, the Monk’s closest brother, has been ordered to pay up €200,000 to the Kinahan mob.
Associates of Gary and Del Boy are baying for blood and desperate for war to be declared on the younger Kinahan associates, who have been flashing their wealth and power around Dublin for years.
It remains to be seen if veterans the Monk and the Kinahan cartel bosses John Cunningham and Christy Snr can still reach a peace deal.
Meanwhile, Gardaí are on high alert over a feud between dissident republicans and the northside Dublin mob run by a ‘Mr Big’.
Vinny Ryan, brother of slain terror chief Alan Ryan, survived an attempt on his life when he was slashed coming from a maternity hospital visit.
The war is now poised on a knife edge, with further deaths inevitable, according to Gardaí.
In Cabra, two convicted dealers who are both believed to have owed money to a drugs gang were given a clear message for their debtors.
Darren Kearns, who was on temporary release, was gunned down in the car park of Cumiskeys pub on Blackhorse Avenue in Cabra, while David Douglas miraculously escaped with his life after an assassination attempt weeks earlier.
Douglas was only recently released from prison after serving a sentence for drug trafficking. It is understood that he owed money to suppliers linked to Godfather George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell.
In Sligo, Cork and the south east, gangs are battling for control of lucrative turf. In the south, an exiled dealer is gaining a foothold in Cork, supplying drugs from his foreign bolthole. It seems that 10 years since the country’s last cocaine high, ‘Charlie’ is on the way back – but with it will come a new drugs war.