NewsCrime Desk

INLA Godfather faces internal war as dissidents cash in on gangland feud

Paul 'Jaws' Kelly
Paul 'Jaws' Kelly

This is INLA Godfather Paul ‘Jaws’ Kelly, whose foot soldiers are among the suspects in the shooting of Christopher Maguire earlier this week.

He heads up a mob of extortionists, bomb makers and racketeers who have fallen out with two separate groups of former comrades now vying to take over the terror chief’s turf.

Maguire is aligned to Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy and ‘Border Fox’ Dessie O’Hare, who were once key associates of Kelly, but who made a hostile takeover bid for one of his most lucrative contracts last year.

Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy

The fractious nature of the INLA has added to tensions in the capital, which is in the grip of the worst feud in history.

Drug dealers, enforcers and subversives who all once worked together are now pitted against one another like never before. And as the city becomes a virtual shooting gallery, Gardaí fear a second wave of killings caused by the growing tensions within the gangs of ‘hired help’.

The deadly INLA split is linked to an attempt to seize a €50k-a-month protection racket which backfired when the two groups came to blows. gardaí were called to the incident and Duffy and members of his mob – including Maguire – were arrested and charged.

Dessie O'Hare

During the row, which took place at the entrance to the Mansfield family home at Tassagart House in Citywest, a security guard, John Roche, was severely injured, but he subsequently refused to make a statement.

John Roche

A second man has alleged he was kidnapped by the group and held against his will. Duffy and Maguire, along with a third man, Daniel Kane, have been charged with three counts of false imprisonment, while Dessie O’Hare is believed to be hiding out in the Armagh area.

While Duffy has been refused bail, Maguire was released pending the trial at the Special Criminal Court. However, he was a marked man, due to his involvement in the savage beating of Roche.

Roche is a key associate of INLA man ‘Red’ Gareth Byrne – Kelly’s top man in south Dublin.

Gareth Byrne

In November 2009 he was jailed for four years for membership of an illegal organisation in the Special Criminal Court. He had been busted a year previous after a raid on an apartment which was being used to make pipe bombs for supply to feuding Dublin crime gangs. Byrne was one of five INLA members nabbed in the raid.

On his release, the terrorist was moved up the ranks of the organisation – a promotion gifted to him by Kelly – which angered another key figure from the group who had built up a healthy reputation as a feared leader.

The Belfast native was furious that he was overlooked for the top posting and has since moved his own gang of thugs away from the group – forming a third ‘New’ INLA terror cell.

It is this third cell that has been working directly for the Kinahan Cartel as hitmen for hire, and two members have been on the run since the murder of Gareth Hutch in the north inner city.

Paul Kelly was jailed in 2008 for membership of the INLA after he was arrested in Dundalk when he rammed a Garda car.

In the boot of the vehicle a number of Garda uniforms which had been stolen from the homes of force members in Waterford and Lucan were found. Tunics, caps, bullet-proof vests and fluorescent jackets were amongst the haul.

While he was serving his sentence, further charges of false imprisonment, possession of firearms and assault were all withdrawn by the State at the Circuit Criminal Court.

Kelly has close links with Kinahan gang enforcer Paul Rice and was previously seen driving the Tallaght thug around and acting as his bodyguard. However, the INLA boss also shares business relations with Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch through a business man.

The ‘banker’ recently moved his family out of his home in south Dublin after it was shot at a number of times from a transit van. Gardaí believe that Rice was behind that attack and is putting pressure on the man to pay up on investments the mob made through his operation.

Paul Rice

Maguire was shot near his home on Dun Emer Place in Lusk around 9.50am on Tuesday. The driver-side window of a white Volkswagen Passat which was situated at the scene was smashed and blood-stained towels and clothing were found beside the car.

A Volkswagen Golf was spotted leaving the scene and was later found burnt out at Kihedge Lane near the M1. Maguire was rushed to Beaumont Hospital, where his condition remains serious. He is the third known dissident to get caught up in the bloody gangland massacre.

Vinnie Ryan, the brother of slain Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, was shot dead in March in what is believed to have been an opportunistic hit on the dissident, as Gardaí concentrated their efforts in the north inner city and Crumlin areas to avoid further Kinahan-Hutch bloodshed.

In April, Michael Barr was shot dead at the Sunset House pub in Dublin. He was suspected of being a close associate of the Regency Hotel shooter known as ‘Flat Cap.’ He was a member of the ‘New’ IRA and was given a paramilitary funeral in his native Strabane.