NewsCrime Desk

Man arrested over attempt to kill Hutch henchman 'Mago' Gately

Scene of James Gately's shooting
Scene of James Gately's shooting

GARDAI have made their first arrest as they probe the attempted murder of Hutch henchman James ‘Mago’ Gately.

Gately (30) was shot in the neck while sitting in a car at Topaz Garage in Clonshaugh, north Dublin, on the afternoon of May 10.

He is understood to be recovering from the horrific injuries he received which gardai have investigated as being part of the deadly Kinahan/Hutch feud.

The Herald say that a 26-year-old Meath man was arrested on Tuesday last week in Duleek over the botched murder attempt.

He was taken to Santry Garda Station on the capital’s northside where he was questioned for a number of days before being released without charge.

Sources say gardai suspect that the man, who has few previous convictions, has “important knowledge” about the shooting of one of the capital’s most notorious
gangland figures almost three months ago.

However, although he was previously not known for any involvement in gangland crime, he has links to dissident republicans.

Gately spent weeks in Beaumont Hospital after the attempted hit.

Such were the fears of another attack that members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) patrolled the Beaumont area until Gately was discharged.

Since his release from hospital he has been keeping a low profile and is hiding out in the North.

In June, the Herald revealed that gardai were investigating if dissident republicans were involved with the Kinahan cartel in May’s botched murder attempt on Gately.

A man in his 50s was questioned at his Co Louth home about the attempted murder but not arrested. Gardai believe the criminal supplied a vehicle that was used as part of the shooting.

It was not believed to have been the getaway car, but to have been used either before or after the attack.

When armed detectives raided his home they also seized his vehicle, which was taken away to be examined by a forensics team. He has longstanding
links to the dissident republican movement and has previous convictions for firearms offences.

In April, Gately survived a separate credible threat to his life after gardai foiled a murder plot that was at an advanced stage.

So far, 12 people have been shot dead as part of the Hutch/Kinahan feud. The latest of these was on May 31, when father-of-two Michael Keogh was gunned down in the north inner city.

Keogh (37) was not considered a major criminal but associated with members of the Kinahan cartel.

Meanwhile, the garda investigation into the Gately shooting remains highly active, as last week’s arrest shows.

The 26-year-old arrested last week may just be one of a number of suspects to be questioned about the attempted murder in the coming weeks.

Gately was hit up to five times, including once in the neck. However, four shots lodged in his bullet-proof vest, saving his life.

He was driving a Ford Mondeo with Northern Irish plates when he was shot.

He had walked out of the busy filling station moments before being gunned down.

Speaking from his hospital bed with a bullet lodged in his jaw, Mago told officers: “I am not going down without a fight.”

Gately has been a close associate of the Hutch clan since he was a child and was photographed carrying the coffin of Gary Hutch.

In the aftermath of Gary Hutch’s death, sources revealed that Gately refused to attend a number of meetings the cartel tried to organise as he was “disgusted and heartbroken” about what had happened to his pal.