ORGANIZED CRIME

Irish gang war claims 10th victim with killing of innocent man in Mallorca

Police say father of three gunned down in holiday resort was case of mistaken identity

The victim's body is taken away on Wednesday night.
The victim's body is taken away on Wednesday night.ATLAS

The year-long feud between two Irish gangs has claimed its second victim in Spain. In what police say is a case of mistaken identity, Trevor O’Neill, aged 41, a civil servant from Dublin, was killed on Wednesday night in front of his family while holidaying in Mallorca. The Civil Guard has launched an investigation, and after interviewing three witnesses, is now looking for three men.

Police said the victim was killed as part of the ongoing Dublin gangland war between men loyal to Gerry “The Monk” Hutch and Costa del Sol-based Irish criminal Christy Kinahan

The victim was shot four times in the back shortly after 9pm on Wednesday outside an empty supermarket in the town of Calviá, on the Costa de la Calma, about 25 kilometers from the capital, Palma.

Police said the victim was killed as part of the ongoing Dublin gangland war between men loyal to Gerry “The Monk” Hutch and Costa del Sol-based Irish criminal Christy Kinahan, who has allegedly set up one of Europe’s most powerful crime organizations, trafficking in drugs and weapons, and who has closed or intimated businesses in Dublin related to the Hutch gang, say Spanish and Irish police.

According to the Irish Times, the victim had been in the same bar as a member of Hutch’s gang, and men working for Kinahan were suspected of the murder.

The violence between the two gangs began seven months ago with an attack by the Hutch gang during a boxing match weigh-in at a Dublin hotel, when one of Kinahan’s “soldiers”, David Byrne, was shot dead during the armed assault, while Kinahan’s son Daniel narrowly missed being killed.

Men loyal to Kinahan have since retaliated, shooting dead eight men around the Irish capital who were either related to Hutch or worked for his gang.

The incident in Mallorca brings to 10 the number of people shot dead in 10 months; two in Spain and eight in Ireland.

The murder of Gary Hutch, Gerry Hutch’s nephew, by the swimming pool of holiday apartments in Marbella on September 24, 2015, appears to have set off the current spiral of violence. Hutch had worked for Kinahan, but police say he was suspected of being an informant by the clan.

The violence between the two gangs began seven months ago with an attack by the Hutch gang during a boxing match weigh-in at a Dublin hotel

The retaliation came five months later, when Gerry Hutch presumably ordered half-a-dozen men armed with AK-47 assault rifles to storm a boxing weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel, targeting Christy Kinahan’s son Daniel, but instead killing David Byrne, a member of Kinahan’s gang. Daniel Kinahan managed to escape through a window.

The Regency attack was a major blow to Kinahan, who has controlled Dublin’s drugs trade for more than a decade. Since then the violence has spiraled out of control, with Irish and Spanish police unable to do anything to stop it. What started out as a dispute between two gangs has now turned into “a campaign to wipe out the Hutches”, say Irish security sources cited in the Irish press. More than a dozen members of the Hutch family have been warned by the police over recent months that their lives are in danger.

Eddie Hutch, Gerry Hutch’s brother, was gunned down in his Dublin home on February 8, just three days after the Regency attack. Six weeks later, Noel Duggan, a known cigarette smuggler and close friend of Gerry Hutch, was shot dead. On May 24, Gareth Hutch, another of Gerry Hutch’s nephews, was gunned down in a Dublin street.

Since then, four more men linked to Hutch or accused of working for him have been killed in Ireland. In another case of mistaken identity, Martin O’Rourke was shot in Dublin on April 14.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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