NewsCrime Desk

Shooting victim warned on numerous occasions about threat to life

James Gately
James Gately

James 'Mago' Gately, who was shot multiple times outside a petrol station in Dublin today, had been warned on numerous occasions about threats to his life.

The Kinahan cartel made Gately their number-one target after an 'internal investigation' decided that he was one of three men dressed in ERU uniforms at the Regency Hotel.

Just last month, gardai foiled an attempt on Gately's life.

Shop owner Gately has spent most of the last few months out of the country in a bid to dodge cartel hitmen - including spending time in Asia and Northern Ireland.

However, when he travelled from his suspected base in the North to Dublin today, the gunmen were waiting.

Sources claim gunmen in a black car pulled up behind him before one got out and fired a number of shots through the driver-side window, hitting Gately up to four times.

It is reported that he was struck three times in the upper body and once in the neck. Gardai confirmed this evening that the victim was "shot a number of times".

It is believed that Gately was wearing a bullet-proof vest, which is suspected to have saved his life.

The scene of the shooting today

Recent intelligence suggests that the cartel brought in hundreds of GPS tracking devices to place on the cars of their key targets, in order to build up a picture of any routine. 

Officers have warned those who have received Garda Information Messages (GIMs) to check their cars regularly.

Gately has received a number of GIMs since the Regency Hotel attack in February 2016.

'Mago' once had strong links to the Kinahan cartel but cut ties with them after his friend Gary Hutch was murdered in Spain in September 2015.

Gately was one of the men who carried Hutch's coffin when he was laid to rest in Dublin.

Gately is from the north-inner city and runs a small grocery shop there.

He regularly travels to Asia with his partner and children.

He was arrested by gardai last May, along with Patrick Hutch Jnr, after a high-speed chase which ended on the Malahide Road.

Patrick Hutch Jnr was later charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016, while Gately was released without charge.

Gately was, however, charged for fleeing a garda checkpoint in that incident and appeared in court last month to plead with the judge not to take his driver's licence away as he faced a 'serious threat' to his life.

However, the judge paid no heed to his plea and convicted him of dangerous driving. He was fined €500 and disqualified for two years.

Gately has previously been quizzed in connection with the assassination of Eamon 'the Don' Dunne in 2010. He was never charged in relation to that shooting.