They Think Hits all Over
Relentless attempts by Kinahan mob to murder Patsy Hutch are thwarted as cops stay ahead of game
He is the ultimate marked man, living under a threat of death, the likes of which has never been seen in Ireland’s criminal underworld.
Patsy Hutch has been targeted countless times in a never-ending campaign, waged from Dubai where mob boss Daniel Kinahan lives in exile with his father, The Dapper Don, and his brother, Christopher Jnr.
From their gilded desert hideaway, his assassination is a game Kinahan is out to win but it’s no longer just about Patsy Hutch — it’s about the very foundations of the State.
Each hit ordered, funded and directed from afar, is an ambush on each and every one of us — it’s an attack on society and we must continue to fight back.
It’s been a long five years in the north inner city since the ill-judged Regency Hotel attack. Cartel soldiers have plotted to assassinate Patsy ever since; at the graveside of his murdered son Gary, on the doorstep of his inner-city home and at various locations in the heart of so called ‘Hutch’ territory.
When Daniel Kinahan’s efforts were thwarted by gardai, he sent in the big guns in the guise of international hitman Imre Arakas. Before he was arrested in Dublin on his way to attempt to murder James ‘Mago’ Gately, Arakas took a walk around the north inner city and passed Patsy’s home, spotting the marked garda car that sits at the entrance to the little cul-de-sac 24/7.
Arakas was nabbed before he could kill Gately, before he could kill Patsy and before Ireland was dealt another blow from a monstrous drug mob.
The Kinahans have pledged millions of euro in their war against the Hutch gang – but in the finances of cocaine and weapons smuggling, the funds are small change and spending money on murder isn’t the issue.
Instead, the planned attacks on Patsy are as much an attack on the Irish State as they are on one man. Similarly, the Garda Siochana’s relentless moves against would-be hit attempts on him is a reflection of how much we value our freedom. It’s nothing to do with protecting criminals.
The Kinahans have repeatedly told their street servants that the feud will end once Patsy dies and have scrawled the same messages in graffiti on the walls of the inner city over and over again.
But the reality is the feud has ended because the gardai beat them down and remain at the very top of their game in the battle against organised crime. However, law enforcement is under no illusion but they must stay alert in case the enemy sees a gap. Despite the passage of time the threat level that the Monk’s brother lives under has never abated.
Unheard of even in the dark abyss of organised crime, it seems that the Kinahan bloodlust lives on, despite the dismantling of an empire. If the mob was a dying man, a bloody hand would be likely to reach up one last time to grab what it could.
As gardai move into the final phase in their offensive against the mob, sources say that they remain on heightened alert that Hutch is still the number-one target. They have no intention of letting down their guard, in the belief that the sting of a dying wasp can still be deadly.
The jailing of Patrick Curtis for 10 years this week in the Special Criminal Court brings to nine the amount of men convicted in connection with a single plot to kill Hutch in the winter of 2018. Curtis grew up just one kilometre from where he planned to murder his neighbour.
The undercover garda operation that prevented the assassination was one of the most expensive ever undertaken – but it was worth every cent.
When the Kinahans went to war with their Hutch rivals they made the mistake of also taking on the Irish State and challenging the very pillars that had built it. Mob boss Daniel Kinahan has learned to his expense that nobody is bigger than the State.
Curtis was jailed along with Mohammed Smew, who got seven-and-a-half years for supplying getaway vehicles for the hit that never happened.
They join Mark Capper, who was also sentenced to seven-and-a-half years after a court heard he was dropped at the last minute from the assassination squad. The would-be hit team were made up of down-on-his-luck Afghan war hero Robert Brown, jailed for 11-and-a-half years, and brothers Mark and Glen Thompson, who got 12-and-a-half years each.
Michael Burns, supervisor, and Ciaran O’Driscoll, a spotter who was raised on the same street that Patsy Hutch had reared his family on, also pleaded guilty to helping the Kinahan Organised Crime Group with the attempted murder.
The tenth gang member only communicated with Curtis through an encrypted mobile phone with messages that deleted automatically once they had been read. He is known only by the pseudonym ‘Lord Knows’ – but one day he may be identified as huge leaps are being made in policing encrypted networks, including the Encrochat one the phone was listed to.
During his sentence hearing Capper made history when he was the first person named in an Irish court as an official member of Kinahan’s gang. The structure of the murder cell was described in detail — evidence usually only heard in those involving terrorist organisations like ISIS or the IRA.
“The Kinahan crime group is organised on the basis of a hierarchical structure which includes sub-cell structures… These sub cells operate on the basis of directions issued by superior figures within the hierarchy… Each sub cell also has an individual hierarchy, and this structure has similar intent and purpose to that of the overall group,” the court heard,
The findings were based on evidence of Detective Superintendent David Gallagher who told the court that the Kinahan Organised Crime Group operates inside and outside Ireland, enforces its writ through violence and murder, and is based in the Middle East.