'Flat Cap' associate blasted to death in Dublin bar

NewsBy Sunday World
The scene of last night's brutal gangland shooting
The scene of last night's brutal gangland shooting

A close associate of one of the Regency Hotel gunmen was blasted to death in a north inner-city pub last night.

A lone hitman entered the Sunset House on Summerhill Parade at 9.15pm and shot the 34-year-old three times, at least once in head. He was pronounced dead at the scene

The victim, named locally as Michael ‘Mickey’ Barr, was a dissident republican who may have been supplying weapons to the Hutch mob, sources said last night.

It’s understood he was an associate of the shooter at the Regency Hotel in February, who has been nicknamed ‘Flat Cap’.

Barr, who was originally from Tyrone, had been living on Dublin’s northside and was a major target for the Special Detective Unit.

Sources said that Barr’s house was raided by gardai last week.

Detectives are now probing whether the shooting is linked to the bitter gangland war between the Hutch mob and the Kinahan cartel.

Barr was due to be sentenced on Thursday at the Special Criminal Court for handling stolen property.

Originally from Tyrone, Barr had reportedly began to work as a bar manager at the Sunset House pub in the last few months.

Gardai are investigating reports that Ross Hutch – a nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch – was also drinking in the bar last night, but sources said the shooting was not believed to be a case of mistaken identity. Last night, there were scenes of distress as crowds milled around outside the garda cordon.

One woman was wailing as she crossed the road: “He’s gone, he’s gone.”

Local sources said that there had been a threat against the man’s life in recent months.

A 42-year-old woman who lives close to the murder scene told the Herald local people were terrified.

“People are scared for their lives. These killings are getting closer and things are getting worse and worse,” she said.

“People are very afraid in this area now. Something has to be done.”

A young woman from the area shook her head and said: “It’s crazy, just crazy, crazy.”

Earlier this month Barr pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to handling stolen electrical equipment.

Barr, of Premier Square in Finglas, admitted before the three-judge, non-jury court to the handling of electronic equipment at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin on July 18, 2014.

In November 2014, when charged with the offence, Barr was also charged with membership of the IRA, also on July 18, 2014.

However, after he pleaded guilty to the handling of stolen goods, the State dropped the IRA membership charge.

Local Independent Cllr Nial Ring, standing at the cordon around the crime scene, last night told the Herald that the shooting was “devastating”.

“There’s a lot of shock in the area. This comes on top of two other killings in recent weeks. Eddie Hutch Snr was shot, an innocent victim, at the other end of this road down in Ballybough and another innocent victim down around Sheriff Street.

“The whole area is in shock and people are wondering just what is going to happen next? And can they go out and have a drink and watch a football match?

“It’s devastating. I know my own mam is living nearby and at 81-years of age she is almost afraid to leave the house.

“There is just an air of fear around the whole area, and something has to be done about it.”

“Apparently, a guy came into the bar and there were three shots. There was a special needs chap in the place having a pint and he’s in a terrible state. The shock of it,” said Cllr Ring.

“And a lot of young mothers were there and there was a big match on the television and it was nearly over when this happened.

“It’s unacceptable what has happened in this area.”

“Obviously, we’re praying for Mick. He was a nice guy,” he added.

“He was from Tyrone and he lived locally. He was a barman in The Sunset House – he was just a nice guy doing his job.

“He had been attracting new customers and was doing up the place. Yesterday, we had a huge celebration around here for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. He would have been part of that.

“He lived locally and had a girlfriend living locally. We’re just devastated.”

Temporary CCTV installed just days ago may have captured the shooters’ escape, according to North Dublin TD Noel Rock (FG).

“The car, which was dumped at the foot of Walsh Road, yards from my home, is in an area which is covered by temporary CCTV erected in recent days by coincidence,” he said.

Mr Barr was the sixth victim of the Hutch/Kinahan feud – which appears to show no signs of stopping soon. The first person to die was Gary Hutch (34), who was shot at a Spanish apartment complex in September.

A revenge attack for Hutch’s murder then took place in February of this year, when a hit-squad stormed the Regency Hotel and David Byrne (33) was killed. Daniel Kinahan was the chief target of the shooting, but he managed to escape.

Two masked gunmen, armed with AK-47s entered the reception and opened fire while a shooter in drag and another man in a flat cap burst in through the rear of the building.

Three days later Eddie Hutch Snr (58) was shot dead at his Ballybough home.

Eddie is a father of Ross Hutch and a brother of Gerry Hutch.

In another fatal shooting believed to be ordered by the Kinahan Cartel, a former business associate of Gerry Hutch was killed at his Meath home.

Noel ‘Kingsize’ Duggan was shot dead as he sat in a car outside his home on March 24.

Innocent father Martin O’Rourke (24) was gunned down on Sheriff Street in Dublin city centre in a case of mistaken identity on April 14.