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'The Monk' escapes after gunmen burst into pub

Gerry Hutch
Gerry Hutch

FORMER criminal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch narrowly escaped an apparent attempt on his life on New Year’s Eve, it’s been reported.It’s understood that two balaclava-wearing gunmen burst into a pub in Lanzarote where he had been drinking just moments before.

The incident occurred as tensions mount between Hutch and the Christy Kinahan drug cartel over the murder of Hutch’s nephew, Gary, in Spain last year.

As the Herald revealed on Saturday, the cartel has been desperately seeking a meeting with The Monk, to explain to him why the 34-year-old was murdered.

It is believed that the cartel have proof that Gary was a police informer. However, it has also emerged that it was never the mob’s intention to be in any dispute with The Monk, who is no longer involved in crime.

“All the indications at this time are that he wants nothing to do with them at all and has no interest in sitting down with the cartel,” a source said.

It was reported yesterday that a senior member of the Kinahan cartel approached the Hutch family before Christmas seeking €200,000 – double the sum that Gary was said to owe before his death.

The terrifying incident in Lanzarote on New Year’s Eve emerged in a report in today’s Irish Daily Star.

The would-be assassins are said to have looked around the bar where he had been drinking before leaving without firing a shot.

Separately, the lower number of gang-related murders last year has been attributed to the growing power of the Kinahan Cartel.

There were just six gangland murders in 2014 – five in Dublin with the other in Athy, Co Kildare.

Gardai have managed to secure criminal charges in two of these cases with the other four murders subject to major investigations.

However, the situation is far calmer than in 2006 – when there were 27 gun murders.

The crime landscape in Ireland has changed, with sources saying the Kinahan cartel – which are responsible for importing the vast bulk of drugs into this country – now “have more power than ever”.

“The cartel were operating a decade ago, but they had nothing like the power that they have nowadays.

“This meant there were a lot more localised feuds, as various groupings fought their own turf wars in different areas.

“They [the Kinahan cartel] have managed to take a large element of control of the Irish market, which means there is much less localised feuding,” a source said.

“The Kinahan organisation has also traditionally had a mantra where they say that murders are bad for business because of the heat that they attract from gardai, but this did not stop the cartel having two of their own gang members wiped out this year,” the source added.

The Kinahan mob are the chief suspects for sanctioning the murder of Paul Kavanagh (27) in Dublin last March as well as the murder of Gary Hutch.