Criminal feud escalates after killing of Eddie Hutch
A BROTHER of one of the Republic's most notorious criminals was shot dead in north Dublin on Monday night in apparent retaliation for the Regency Hotel shootings.
The man in his fifties, named locally as Eddie Hutch snr, brother of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, was shot several times at his home on Poplar Row in North Strand, close to Croke Park, at 7.45pm. He died at the scene.
Up to four people were understood to have been involved in the attack, which appeared to confirm fears of an escalation of a dispute between drugs gangs based in Dublin and the Costa del Sol.
Tensions have been high since Gerry Hutch's nephew Gary Hutch was shot dead in Marbella in September last year.
Senior gardaí had initially ruled out paramilitary involvement following Friday afternoon's attack which killed criminal David Byrne (33) and wounded two others during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin.
However, a spokesman claiming to be from the Continuity IRA told a BBC journalist it was behind the hotel attack and had shot Byrne in retaliation for the killing of Alan Ryan in Dublin in September 2012 - a leader of a faction of the Real IRA in north Dublin.
A further statement in the name of the Continuity IRA on Monday night rejected the earlier claim.
It read: "The Continuity IRA wish to make it clear that we did not have any involvement in Friday's shooting at the Regency Hotel.
"We have absolutely no involvement in criminal feuds. We see the false claim that the CIRA were involved in this act as another attempt to tarnish the name of the organisation."
There are two dissident groups who use the name Continuity IRA - one larger group and one regarded as a breakaway faction focused on Limerick.
The statement on Monday was understood to be from the mainstream group, which has links to Republican Sinn Fein.
About 300 people, including families with children, were in the hotel on Friday when the gang struck during a weigh-in for a title fight billed Clash Of The Clans between Jamie Kavanagh and Antonio Jao Bento which was due to go ahead on Saturday.
The bout was being promoted by Frank Warren and MGM Promotions based in Marbella.
Daniel Kinahan, who manages some boxers in the MGM camp, was thought to be in the Regency at the time of the attack.
He is the son of Christy Kinahan, a convicted drug dealer suspected of importing large drug shipments.
Units of the Garda's armed Emergency Response Unit were sent on patrol in certain parts of Dublin over the weekend with several high profile checkpoints set up in the wake of the murder.
No arrests have been made.
Some journalists and photographers from Irish newspapers were in the grounds of the hotel on Friday anticipating figures from Dublin's criminal underworld would be present.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald came under pressure to explain why journalists took the initiative to stake out the hotel for underworld figures but Garda detectives were not there.
"The answer the Garda Commissioner (Noirin O'Sullivan) has given... there was no operational intelligence in relation to this event," she said.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny called on Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams to make a statement on reports that the assault rifles used in the attack may have been from "cargo that came in from abroad with the Provisional IRA a number of years ago".
Mr Adams said: "I understand a group calling itself the Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Regency Hotel.
"They are not the IRA. The IRA are gone and their weapons are gone. "Enda Kenny knows that.
"Incidentally, the same group has me and other Sinn Féin reps under active death threat. This was confirmed to me by the PSNI in recent months."