Gardai on alert as feud target returns to Dublin


GARDAI have significantly increased their patrols in parts of north inner city Dublin following the return of a main Kinahan cartel target.

Keith Murtagh (32), who is a member of the Hutch gang, has survived two attempts on his life since April.

Keith Murtagh

He has previously fled to other parts of the city and to the UK, but last week made a return to the capital despite threats from the international crime gang.

In April, Murtagh was the target of a botched hit in which innocent fatherof-three Martin O’Rourke (24) was shot dead.

The convicted armed robber fled to the UK following the attempt on his life, but later returned to Dublin.

However, only a month later there was another attempt made on his life as he sat in a downstairs room with a female friend.

In the early hours of May 25, a gunman indiscriminately opened fire in Cherry Orchard Court, the scene of Saturday night’s shooting.

Murtagh and his friend suffered minor injuries during the attack, which gardai suspect was carried out on behalf of the feared cartel.

The Hutch gang associate had kept a low profile until last week when gardai learned of his return.

“Gardai were quite stunned when it emerged that Murtagh had come back to the area,” said a source.

“He has been warned in the past that his life is under threat, but with the extra armed presence in the area he may feel safer than ever.”

Protection posts have been placed in a number of areas of the north-inner city on a 24/7 basis to protect family members and associates of the Hutch gang who are under threat.

A bench warrant was previously issued for Murtagh after he failed to appear for a district court hearing in relation to road traffic offences.

He was part of a gang that was arrested following a botched cash-in-transit robbery in Lucan in 2009.

Murtagh was injured while his associate, Gareth Molloy (29), was shot dead after armed gardai opened fire.

Murtagh was jailed for his part in the robbery, as was Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch, a nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.