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Last resort Feud murder accused getting consular assistance as he fights extradition over Gareth Hutch killing

The north Dublin criminal was arrested in Kusadasi by Turkish police last year after being placed on a worldwide wanted list by Interpol over the 2016 murder.

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Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell

Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell

Victim Gareth Hutch

Victim Gareth Hutch

Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne

Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne

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Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been providing consular assistance to Dublin gangster Thomas ‘Nicky’ McConnell, who is banged up in a Turkish prison awaiting extradition to Ireland in connection with the murder of Gareth Hutch.

The north Dublin criminal was arrested in Kusadasi by Turkish police last year after being placed on a worldwide wanted list by Interpol over the 2016 murder.

Gardaí have previously questioned McConnell (35), from Sillogue Gardens in Ballymun, about the killing before releasing him while a file was prepared for the DPP.

The DPP later came back with a decision to charge him but McConnell had already fled to Turkey, where he lived for a number of years before his arrest.

He was arrested at his address in the Turkish holiday resort last July before being taken to Kusadasi Police Headquarters and then onto the notorious Soke Prison.

He has since been transferred to another prison in the city Izmir.

His extradition to Ireland was approved by the Turkish courts but he appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which is due to rule on the matter over the coming weeks.

If the appeal fails he is expected to be extradited back to Ireland over the coming weeks and appear in the Special Criminal Court charged with the murder.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been providing consular assistance to McConnell while he is behind bars in Turkey.

A spokesperson for the Department said: “We are aware of the case and providing consular assistance.”

The conditions in Turkish prisons are generally tougher than in Irish jails and in recent years some European courts have refused to extradite prisoners from Europe to Turkey due to issues, including overcrowding and the risk of political persecution.

McConnell, who had links to the gang led by slain gang boss Eamon ‘the Don’ Dunne, is no stranger to prison, having run up close to 100 convictions in Ireland for various offences, including drugs and firearms offences and threats to kill.

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Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne

Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne

Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne

Gardaí expect McConnell will lose his appeal against his extradition and soon return to Ireland to face trial for the murder of Hutch.

Jonathan Keogh, his sister Regina Keogh and Thomas ‘Tossy’ Fox are currently serving life for the murder.

Jonathan Keogh and McConnell were members of the so-called New INLA, as was Gerard Mackin, and were involved in extortion and protection rackets and had connections to the Kinahan cartel.

McConnell had joined up with the New INLA gang following his release from prison for drugs offences and threatening to kill a woman and put her in the boot of his car.

When the Kinahan-Hutch feud escalated following the Regency Hotel shooting the New INLA gang aligned with the Kinahan side of the feud.

Hutch was shot four times as he was getting into his car outside the Avondale House flats complex on North Cumberland Street in Dublin on May 24, 2016.

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Victim Gareth Hutch

Victim Gareth Hutch

Victim Gareth Hutch

The murder was caught on CCTV. It shows two men running up to Hutch and shooting him from behind.

Jonathan Keogh fired all four bullets while the second gunman – who authorities allege is McConnell – tried to fire but it appears his gun jammed.

The trial heard Jonathan Keogh threatened to kill Hutch the night before the killing. The court was told it was not a spur of the moment murder and the hit team put considerable thought and planning into the hit.

Gardaí seized a phone off McConnell when he was arrested and after analysing it found it had been in extensive contact with two numbers based in Thailand as well as phones linked to Jonathan Keogh and Thomas Fox.

Gardaí believe McConnell was calling hitman Eamon Cumberton, who was in Thailand at the time while on the run after murdering Michael Barr in Dublin as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Jonathan Keogh fled Ireland for the UK after the Hutch murder but was arrested in Essex in 2017 less than two weeks after his brother Michael Keogh was shot dead outside his flat off Dorset Street in Dublin’s north inner city.

Like Keogh, McConnell also had a brother who was a victim of a fatal gun attack.

Ian McConnell (28) was shot dead in Ballymun in 2005 in a local dispute which sparked a feud in Ballymun that lasted for years.

Earlier this month McConnell’s father, David, was given a two-year suspended sentence after a court heard he continued to claim Nicky’s disability benefit for about a year after his son left the county.

The court heard that David McConnell (76) attended his doctor on behalf of his son to get him signed off for disability benefit as he “couldn’t come out of the house because he was involved in an enterprise that put him in danger”.

“He couldn’t leave the house because of a feud,” Garda Cathal Connolly said. As a result of this, Thomas McConnell was deemed to have a psychological condition and a “fear of other persons”, the court heard.

He collected €8,700 in payments on Nicky’s behalf, despite the fact his son was in Turkey.

He said he gave the money to his son’s partner to help care for his granddaughter.

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