Ireland’s Costa Mob buried the ‘Hatchet’ almost a year after the brutal murder of a gangland hardman threatened to tear them apart.
Sources say a peace deal has been brokered after the Kinahan cartel convinced their associates that brothers Paul and Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh were not gunned down on their orders.
Some of the senior lieutenants in the Kinahan gang are closely related to the family of the slain brothers or to Tracey Brady – the widow of murdered Hatchet.
In particular, Gardai were watching Greg Lynch to see which way he might sway in a divide. He is the Kinahan’s top man in the south inner city, but he is also Tracey’s nephew and was always close to ‘Hatchet’. He was among the old friends and relatives who carried his coffin.
Lynch was left horrifically scarred after he survived an assassination attempt and has been lying low ever since, but a mark of his closeness to ‘Hatchet’ was the fact he so publicly came out to mourn his old friend.
At home, ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh was a hero who dabbed away his children’s tears and showered his wife with gifts. However, the house angel was a true street devil – a violent career criminal and a notorious enforcer who regularly beat addicts to a pulp over a €200 debt.
His death almost sparked a war. Last weekend, his family marked the anniversary of the day his brutal life came to a bloody end on the floor of a Marbella bar with nine bullets pumped into his body – the last one through his face, lest he dare to survive.
But when they remembered him, they did so without any ill feeling towards his killers. And even when Spanish police closed the investigation into his murder just weeks ago, saying they could not solve it, nobody from his family spoke up or made a call for justice to be served.
After the September 6 murder, the finger of blame pointed at the Kinahans, as it emerged that Kavanagh had been accused of pocketing some of their drug money – an activity which guarantees a bullet in the head from the mob.
No key members of the drug cartel attended Kavanagh’s funeral and his son Jamie, a boxer who had just announced that he had signed to the MGM gym in Marbella, cut all links with his then manager Daniel Kinahan.
Daniel, the oldest son of mob boss Christy, spends any of his spare time training boxers and promoting his pal Matthew Macklin’s club. Signing Jamie, a highly skilled boxer who has competed professionally in the U.S., was a huge coup, but after the shooting they cut all ties.
Hatchet’s lifelong friend and business partner Paul Rice was another of the pallbearers at his funeral. As the recriminations and threats escalated, Hatchet’s brother Paul was gunned down last March. The 27-year-old father of two was the last surviving son of Mary Kavanagh and was the partner of moll Gemma Roe – who was once stopped carrying cash in Dublin Airport destined for Malaga. She claimed the €20,000 was to finance plastic surgery, but a court ordered a forfeiture.
Paul Kavanagh had been working with his brother Hatchet as an enforcer. The Kinahan mob were again blamed. Around the same time, Rice disappeared with his family from his Tallaght home.
While he has rarely been seen since, he was spotted over the summer in Dublin, but is understood to be based in Scotland for the most part of the past year. Sources say he is back in favour with the mob and is now running a special investigations unit for them in Dublin to root out any rats in the ranks.
While the Kinahans totally denied their role in either of the murders, it is understood that Gardai remain convinced that they were sanctioned by the mob. None of the gang attended Paul’s funeral or came to pay their respects to mum Mary at her Mourne Road home in Drimnagh.
For months, tensions raged within the gang. However, Gardai believe that the sheer wealth and the power of the Kinahans won out and that everyone – even Hatchet’s immediate family – eventually chose to accept their pleas of innocence.
“The fact of the matter is that money can buy anything and it is far easier for those close to Hatchet and Paul to believe that the Kinahans didn’t do it. No doubt they know deep down that they did, but in that world money can buy absolutely anything and the Kinahans have plenty of it. There is no real loyalty – only to money,” a source said.
“It was interesting in the beginning to see which way Greg Lynch would fall in the whole thing, but he is still aligned to the Kinahans and clearly the Kavanaghs have now come to terms with the murders too.
“It took a year for everything to settle down, but it seems to have gone completely back to normal now. A lot of people in the boxing world were shocked to see Jamie Kavanagh align himself with Daniel Kinahan after he was accused of murdering his dad, but clearly he is satisfied that they had nothing to do with it now.”