Panic room discovered in Dublin mansion of Kinahan mobster

Armed gardai taking part in yesterday's raid
Armed gardai taking part in yesterday's raid

A purpose built panic room was discovered in the luxury home of a convicted criminal during a series of raids targeting suspected associates of the Kinahan drug cartel, it has emerged.

Gardai said a large amount of money had been spent on renovating some of the houses searched, which had been fitted with items ranging from jacuzzis to high-end TVs.

Substantial investments were also made in security measures, including bullet proof windows, heavily reinforced doors and CCTV systems.


However, gardai were stunned to discover convicted criminal Liam Byrne had a panic room designed to escape an attack by would-be assassins in his Crumlin home.

His brother David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency Hotel by a rival gang as part of a bloody feud with the Hutch family last month. The shooting sparked off a retaliatory strike, which claimed the life of taxi driver Eddie Hutch, who was not regarded as being a member of the rival outfit but was singled out because of family connections.

Sources told the Irish Independent the security work was done some time ago, suggesting that Byrne had been concerned about becoming a gangland target long before the feud broke out with the Hutch clan.

“He (Byrne) was clearly planning ahead when he re-built the house because he had a purpose-built panic room of the type recommended to potential kidnap targets by the security industry,” said a source.

“The doors and windows can withstand even a small bomb which means he could buy himself time to get his family into the safety of the panic room.”

The property also boasted a steam room and a bar which was fully stocked with champagne, a source said.

Members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) were forced to swap the breeching equipment they normally use in forced entries for angle grinders to break through the door yesterday morning.

Detectives said the home in Raleigh Square had been turned into a fortress, with a front door designed to withstand the blast from a small bomb.

Gardai dealt a severe financial blow to the Irish-based associates of the global drug trafficking cartel, led by Dubliner Christy Kinahan.

The homes of several suspected key associates were among a series of premises searched in dawn raids in the capital.

Almost 30 top of the range cars, six motorcycles, jewellery and expensive Rolex watches – with a total property value estimated to be well in excess of €1m – were seized, as well as €100,000 in cash.