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verdict in Hitman found guilty of attempted murder of Kinahan cartel target James 'Mago' Gately

Mr Gately, a Kinahan cartel target, was shot five times as he sat in his car at the Topaz filling station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin at lunchtime on May 10, 2017.

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Caolan Smyth

Caolan Smyth

James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately

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Caolan Smyth

A hitman who gunned down Kinahan cartel target James 'Mago' Gately, who was shot five times but survived, has been found guilty of attempted murder by the non-jury Special Criminal Court this afternoon.

A second man has been found guilty for his part in burning out the car used in the shooting.

Mr Gately, a Kinahan cartel target, was shot five times as he sat in his car at the Topaz filling station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin at lunchtime on May 10, 2017.

The victim, who was warned by gardaí of a threat to his life and wore a bullet-proof vest, survived the shooting after sustaining injuries to his upper chest and neck.

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James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately

Caolan Smyth (28) of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, had pleaded not guilty to Mr Gately's attempted murder.

He had also denied the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger on the same date and location.

The prosecution had argued there was "no other conclusion" than Smyth being the man who "pulled the trigger", while the court also heard that Smyth had put Mr Gately under surveillance the day before and on the morning of the shooting.

Gary McAreavey (52) of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to acting to 'impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle used in the attempted murder' at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth on the same day.

On Tuesday, presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the case against Smyth was beyond any reasonable doubt that he took part in what was intended to be an "organised murder".

The prosecution case relied on mobile phone locations, phone-use being tied to the car's movements and positive Garda identifications of Smyth from CCTV at the filling station.

Shortly after the attempted murder, McAreavey was spotted on CCTV in Castlebellingham buying petrol, which the non-jury court found was used in the "comprehensive destruction" of the getaway car near Dromiskin after Smyth and McAreavey travelled in convoy to the burn-site.

More to follow..

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