A tangled tragedy is unfolding in Ireland. On Friday February 5th, assassins disguised as police officers in tactical gear burst into Dublin’s Regency Hotel, gunning down local gangster Davie Byrne and seriously wounding two of his colleagues.
Byrne, known as an important supplier of cocaine in Dublin, was at the hotel to attend the weigh-in for a local boxing match when he was murdered. He was apparently a lieutenant of the Kinahan cartel, led by Dublin drug-lord Christy Kinahan. The killing is believed to have been carried out by associates of a rival Dublin mob, run by Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, in retaliation for the murder of Gary Hutch, The Monk’s nephew. He was murdered in Costa Del Sol Spain last September.
The cycle of violence immediately continued after the Regency Hotel attack. On February 8th, one of The Monk’s brothers, Eddie Hutch Sr., was shot dead by four assailants at his home in Dublin’s North Strand neighborhood. Eddie Hutch Sr. had criminal convictions for fraud and other petty crimes, but is believed not to have been involved in violence or major criminal activities. It is thought that he was seen as a “soft target” for retaliation.
Northern Ireland has a long history of armed violence between Loyalist and Republican militias, but such events are unusual in the Republic of Ireland, despite the presence of large criminal gangs. The shootings at the Regency are believed to have been carried out with Romanian AK-47s, which were favored by the Provisional IRA in Belfast during the 1980s. Police speculate that the weapons originally came from the PIRA’s arsenal.
The clash between the Kinahan and Hutch gangs follows years of bad blood between the once-friendly organizations. Both Christy Kilahan and Gerry Hutch are multi-millionaires, and both currently live with impunity in Spain while their foot soldiers battle it out on the streets of Dublin.
Eddie Hutch Sr’s funeral was held today in Dublin. His kingpin brother, Gerry “The Monk,” reportedly attended the funeral in disguise—and covered the 15,000-euro bar tab run up by mourners.