NewsCrime Desk

Regency Hotel shooters suspected of hit on Paul Kavanagh

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Regency Hotel assassins
Regency Hotel assassins

TWO of the gunmen in the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan Cartel lieutenant David Byrne have now been linked by Gardaí to the murder of former gang member Paul Kavanagh 10 months ago.

The men, who are close associates of slain gangster Gary Hutch, are believed to be the ones who rammed Kavanagh’s car in Drumcondra on March 26, 2015, before riddling him with bullets.

Kavanagh (27), was shot dead as he was believed to have been pocketing money he was collecting from a Drimnagh drug dealer who was repaying a debt of over €1m to the Kinahan mob.

Paul was a brother of Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh, who was murdered by the same mob the previous September.

Paul Kavanagh

He was also shot dead, in Spain’s Costa del Sol, for stealing from his own gang.

Gardaí believe the Paul Kavanagh shooting was carried out on the orders of the Kinahan mob, but both gunmen involved swore vengeance on their former bosses in the wake of the murder of their close friend and associate Gary Hutch in Spain last September.

One of the suspected killers – who is from the north inner city and has blood ties to the Hutch faction – has been named to Gardaí as being one of the gunmen disguised as members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit who shot Byrne (33), dead during a boxing weigh-in event on February 5.

He is also suspected by Gardaí of involvement in the botched shooting attempt on senior Kinahan gang member Liam Roe outside the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin last November.

The gunman was named as a top target of the Kinahan Cartel in the wake of the shooting attempt on Roe on November 6. He is now in hiding from the gang.

The second individual suspected of carrying out the murder of Kavanagh – and being the other AK47 wielding gunman at the Regency – was previously a trusted agent for the Kinahan Cartel.

However, he switched sides after the Gary Hutch shooting. He now lives in the North-West Dublin area.

He is a feared hitman who is suspected of carrying out the murders of Paul Kavanagh last year and Eamon ‘the Don’ Dunne in 2010, on behalf of the Kinahan Cartel.

He is now considered to be one of the mob’s most dangerous enemies.

Earlier this week, he significantly increased tensions by threatening: “We will not rest until Daniel Kinahan is dead. He caused all of this – it won’t end until he is in his grave.”

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

Gardaí believe the Hutch faction with which the hitman is aligned may now number as many as 40 criminals.

“Some of these lads have fled, others have not,” a source said.

“They are not worried about the Gardaí. They are only interested in the cartel,” a source said.

Detectives are understood to be concerned by the “hardened” attitude displayed by members of the mob connected to slain Gary Hutch.