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Raided Kinahan cartel pub is in heartland of rival mob

Crime DeskBy Nicola Tallant
Raided Kinahan cartel pub is in heartland of rival mob

This is the pub which was raided this week as part of a major probe into companies and business people with links to the Kinahan Cartel.

Alfie Byrne’s Pub on Hill Street, Dublin, is in the heartland of Hutch territory, but Gardaí believe Kinahan associates had been turning it into a city centre HQ before the attack on the gang at the Regency Hotel.

Perma-tanned mobster Liam Roe – who friends have nicknamed Tango One because of his orange tinge – is named on company documents as director of the pub, which was turned over this week by officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Roe (35), is a senior member of the Kinahan circle and he prides himself on his bizarre year-round tan, muscular build and love of flash watches and clothes.

Liam Roe at David byrne's funeral.

He is a cousin of ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Liam Byrne, whose brother David was shot dead during the Regency attack last month.

The high-profile raids on the homes of Liam Byrne and his father James ‘Jaws’ Byrne on Raleigh Square, as well as another house and a garage in the Crumlin enclave, netted a treasure trove of expensive designer watches, cash and documents.

The first of two sets of raids concentrated on the Byrne family and their associates, as well as a car sales company where 29 vehicles were seized. The company, LS Active Car Sales, was owned by Liam Byrne and his business partner Sean McGovern, who was injured in the Regency shooting.

The Sunday World can reveal that the night before the raids Byrne and McGovern were stopped in the company of family ‘elder’ Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, who has been spending more and more time in Ireland since the feud exploded.

It is understood that ‘Bomber’ – a brother-in-law of Liam, who settled a bill with the Criminal Assets Bureau before moving to Birmingham with his wife Joanne more than 10 years ago – has been meeting with the Byrnes and Daniel Kinahan as the cartel attempt to get their business back up and running.

Bomber Kavanagh and 'Fat' Freddie Thompson

Bomber is also in the motor business and in 2010 registered a car sales business, TK Motors, in the Birmingham area. He was one of the first to arrive at the Byrne house following David’s murder and was treated like a family ‘godfather’ at the lavish funeral that followed.

The younger members of the Kinahan Cartel now seem to be turning to Bomber for counsel as they are faced with a full-scale Garda crackdown and a gangland war.

Bomber, who was also a first cousin of murdered drug dealer Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh, lives in a €1million gated property in the luxury suburb of Tamworth, outside Birmingham  – home to top businessmen and high-profile footballers.

The raids on the Byrnes and their business netted an estimated €750,000 in high-spec vehicles, including BMWs, Volkswagen Golfs, Audis, a Lexus and a Land Rover.

A quad dune buggy and six high-powered motorbikes – including a €37,000 Kawasaki, the only one of its kind in the country – were also seized.

The home where David Byrne used to live at Kildare Road and McGovern’s property nearby were also targeted.

In follow-up raids on Friday, drug dealer Greg Lynch’s car business, LS Car Sales Limited, was targeted.

Greg Lynch

Lynch, who survived an assassination attempt in 2013, lives like a virtual recluse at his home in Marylands, south Dublin.

A massive €40,000 was seized at the property of a close associate of Lynch in the Liberties – a man who Gardaí say acts as a driver for the inner-city dealer.

GPS tracking devices were also found during the raids and officers believe the gang were using them to keep track of the locations of vehicles being used by the mob.

During the searches, a man believed to work as an enforcer for the gang was arrested on foot of an outstanding warrant and put behind bars.

The Criminal Assets Bureau will now trawl through documents seized during the raids, but say that in many cases key members of the gang have directly linked themselves to businesses in an effort to wash their money and legitimise their lifestyles.

Liam Roe was registered as a director of Alfie Byrne’s Bar and Entertainment Limited two years ago, when he took over from Jennifer Foster, registering his occupation as a bar manager.

Three years ago, Roe attempted to get Gardaí to return two Rolex watches worth almost €50,000 which they had seized during a search.

He failed in his police property application after a judge ruled that he had given false evidence to a court.

During the case, it emerged that Roe was awarded IR£300,000 in 1999 after a car crash and claimed he had used the money to buy the high-end watches. Detectives said they had seized the watches during a search on his Crumlin home in 2011.

Roe was arrested in 2007 over allegations that he had threatened to kill a bouncer at a pub in Dame Street. He was also fined €250 after an incident in 2009 for obstructing a Garda drugs search.

In 2012 Roe was given a four-month jail sentence after gardaí raided his apartment and found stolen designer handbags worth nearly €9,000.

The pub is just one of a number of premises which has been identified as a business with links to the Kinahan Cartel.

It is understood that other businesses include a recreational facility in west Dublin, hairdressers, beauty salons, transport and meat companies.

It is understood that the mob have concentrated their business interests in high-end car sales companies, more of which are now on the radar of the CAB.

Active Car Sales, which never filed any accounts and had been struck off  the companies register, continued to trade with stock for sale worth hundreds of thousands of euro on its website.

It is understood that gardaí and customs officers are now tracking cars imported by LS Active Car Sales and redistributed to a number of garages in west Dublin.

The mob are so brazen about their connections to the luxury car company that a young relative operated a remote controlled car down the aisle of the church at the end of David Byrne’s funeral Mass. The car, which was emblazoned with the company logo, carried a two-foot floral tribute with a photograph of Byrne.

After the Mass, Fr Niall Coughlan was forced to defend the ceremony which was widely criticised.

“It drove down the aisle,” he said.

“It came as a complete surprise to me. I have no idea what that was about. I was conscious of the context to which the funeral was coming in, but I suppose every baptised Christian, no matter who they are, we haven’t any choice but to conduct a funeral service for them.”