revenge hit | 

How Daithi Douglas's fate was sealed by vengeful Kinahan cartel who met in secret

Daithi Douglas

Daithi Douglas murder scene

Lee Canavan

Robin Schiller

DAVID 'Daithi' Douglas's fate was sealed in late 2015 following a secret meeting of the Kinahan cartel hierarchy in Dublin.

On November 6, a gunman's weapon jammed when he attempted to shoot at associates of the crime gang gathered outside the Red Cow Hotel on the Naas Road.

Within hours of the failed hit, a small summit among the cartel's trusted inner circle was convened to come up with a response.

Gardaí believe the sole purpose of these discussions was to compile a hit-list of targets in revenge for the hotel murder attempt.

Among those present was a Crumlin man, now aged in his mid-30s, who is a trusted associate of the international crime gang.

He is currently wanted in relation to one feud killing and is also suspected of directing other murder plots outside of the country.

Another senior cartel member believed to have been involved in the secretive meeting is originally from Dublin's north inner city and also wanted for questioning in relation to a feud murder.

A source told the Herald: "These two men were essentially tasked with compiling a list of Hutch targets, and this happened well before the escalation of the Regency Hotel attack.

"Gardaí believe they met in retaliation for the Red Cow incident. The two cartel associates are also suspected of being heavily involved in organising feud murders in 2016, both inside and outside this jurisdiction."

Two names placed on the murder list were Douglas (55), a former zookeeper with IRA links, and Darren Kearns (33), a convicted drug dealer from Cabra.

While the Kinahan gang's 'enquiries' led them to believe the pair were involved in the Red Cow attempt, gardaí do not believe this was the case.

It did not matter, and less than 48 hours later, Douglas was shot and seriously injured while walking his dog in Cabra.

Kearns was gunned down that December outside Cum- miskey's Pub on Blackhorse Avenue.

By the following July, Douglas appeared to believe the threat had subsided.

He was regularly spotted in his wife's store in the south inner city, where many cartel associates live.

While he cheated death once, he was not so lucky this time.

Unbeknown to him, as he stood in the Shoestown shop on Bridgefoot Street, the final plans were being put in place for his murder.

Daithi Douglas murder scene

Spotter cars were captured on CCTV circling the area before a Mercedes pulled up nearby.

Within seconds, a gunman entered the store, fired up to six shots into Douglas and fled the scene.

An investigation was launched by detectives from Kevin Street garda station, which this week culminated in the final member of the murder cell being jailed.

Lee Canavan (32) had begun appearing more frequently on the garda radar in 2015.

From Edenbrook in Rathfarnham, he lived in the UK in his late teens and worked as a printer before returning to Ireland.

Back in Dublin, he even enrolled in a business, IT and web design course as a mature student.

However, his plans for a legitimate career were short-lived, and he would feature on garda intelligence as an associate of Gareth Chubb, a convicted drug dealer and Kinahan associate from Crumlin.

When detectives raided a property linked to Canavan in 2015, they discovered Chubb inside.

Canavan would also act as a driver for fellow convicted killer 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.

Lee Canavan

By June 26, 2016, he clocked up his first convictions for drug possession and was fined €200 and €100.

Five days later, he would form part of a murder squad that the Special Criminal Court said were involved in the "meticulously" planned murder of Douglas.

Having fled to the UK after the killing, he was returned on a European Arrest Warrant in 2020. Last month, following a non-jury trial, he was found guilty of Douglas's murder on July 1, 2016.

He was also convicted of criminal damage to a Suzuki Swift, used as a "switch" car in the murder, three days later in Sandymount.

While the three judges said they could not say he was the gunman beyond reasonable doubt, they found he was part of a joint criminal enterprise involved in the murder.

On Thursday, Canavan, watching via video link from prison, was sentenced to life As the case concluded, he gave a thumbs-up to the camera before being led away. He was the fourth and final member of the murder cell convicted.

Gangland figure Thompson (41), who directed the Douglas plot, was previously jailed for life over his murder.

Foot solider Nathan Foley (23), described as a gillie, was sentenced to six years for helping the gang involved in the gun attack.

Canavan's half-brother Gareth Brophy (25), one of the getaway drivers, was given a nine-and-a-half-year jail term for facilitating the murder.

Speaking after the conviction, Chief Supt Paul Cleary hailed the work of his investigation team, the support from national garda units and the assistance of the local community in Dublin 8.

"This is a team who were involved, as the judge said, in meticulous planning, prep- aration, transport, logistics, execution and cover-up of the murder of Douglas," he said.

Like many other people murdered by the organised crime group, its ill-informed suspicions were enough for the cartel killers to inflict their own justice on Douglas.

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