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Murderer of Irishman shot dead in Spain 'heard bragging' about planned crime

Crime DeskBy Gerard Couzens
Devestated onlookers in the aftermath of the shooting (Image via Solarpix)
Devestated onlookers in the aftermath of the shooting (Image via Solarpix)

The killer of an Irishman gunned down in a packed Majorcan holiday resort was overheard in a bar bragging about the crime he was about to pull off, it was claimed today.

Police are said to have spoken to the key witness as they hunt the gunman and two suspected accomplices.

The suspects escaped a police lockdown of the area following the shooting just after 9pm last night in Costa de la Calma, around 15 miles from Majorcan capital Palma in the south west of the island.

Armed police - some carrying machine guns and wearing bullet-proof vests - patrolled the street where the murder occurred outside an empty supermarket which was sealed off as forensic experts moved in following a failed attempt to revive the victim at the scene.

An all-ports alert remained in place this morning as murder squad detectives sought to stop the assassins fleeing the island.

The shooting is being probed as a revenge killing and will inevitably lead to concerns it is related to the gangland feud between the Kinahan and Hutch families which has caused bloodshed in Ireland and the Costa del Sol.

A bar owner, who asked not to be named, said in the aftermath of the gun murder: "I heard three shots but there were apparently four and then saw a man with a blue hoodie pulled tight over his face run by.

"I didn't realise at first they were gunshots.

"I thought it was kids playing with firecrackers. But then I heard people screaming and people came rushing into the bar to seek refuge.

"The victim is dead and still lying in a bodybag on the pavement near my bar.

"I don’t know who he is."

A spokesman for the Civil Guard was unable to confirm the nationality of the victim, although local reports said he was Irish and officers at the scene also described him as an Irishman.

The spokesman said: "A man was shot in the back around 9.05 local time in a street in Costa de la Calma.

"Officers are still at the scene.

"The man or men responsible for shooting him fled."

The man shot dead in Majorca was with his family when he was gunned down, locals said last night.

A worker at a restaurant near the scene of the murder said they were asked to take care of around six children while police questioned a woman believed to be the man's partner.

The worker, who asked not to be named, said: "There were around five or six children aged between eight and 15.

"The police said they were the victim's relatives and asked us to look after them while they were with the woman they were questioning."

Roadblocks were set up in the area to try to catch the killers.

The Costa del Sol and Ireland has been rocked by a series of tit-for-tat killings blamed on feuding Irish gangs.

In February, gangster David Byrne was shot dead at Dublin's Regency Hotel during the weigh-in of Jamie Kavanagh, the boxing pal of Irish godfather Christy Kinahan's son Daniel.

The shooting, which followed the September 2014 killing of Jamie's gangster dad Gerard at a pub near Marbella, was seen as retaliation for the assassination in September last year of Gary Hutch in Miraflores near Fuengirola.

Gary's uncle Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch has been blamed for ordering the hit on Byrne as part of an all-out war with the Kinahan gang.

His brother Eddie was shot dead three days after the Regency Hotel attack in a feud which one major criminal has warned would only end when Daniel Kinahan, who until recently lived in Marbella, was killed.

Christy and Daniel are now said to have relocated to Dubai to escape the threats to their lives.

Since Eddie Hutch's killing on February 8 at his home, at least three murders in Ireland have been linked to the gangland feud.

The garda overtime budget to combat the deadly feud between the Kinahan mob and the Hutch gang was recently estimated to have risen to €90million.

Armed officers have staged more than 6,000 checkpoints in Dublin since David Byrne's murder at the Regency Hotel.

Costa de la Calma, in the southwest of Majorca, is near Santa Ponsa which is a popular Irish holiday resort.