Republic of Ireland news

Estonian hitman jailed for Newry murder plot

Estonian hitman Imre Arakas has been sentenced to six years in jail for his part in a murder plot

AN Estonian hitman who flew to Ireland to murder a man in Newry as part of a feud between Dublin criminals has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Imre Arakas with an address in Sopruse, Tallinn, admitted to conspiring with others not before the courts in the Republic to murder James Gately in Newry between April 3 and 4 2017.

Described by gardaí as a "contracted hitman", Arakas was arrested as part of a probe into the Hutch-Kinahan gangland feud which has claimed multiple lives.

Arakas (60) told those who were supervising the murder that "it could just be one shot to the head from distance".

Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today that Arakas was prepared to pull the trigger in what was a well planned operation.

The hitman flew from Alicante in Spain to Dublin on April 3 last year.

An earlier court hearing heard Arakas walked around the city centre and bought a wig and a mirror. He was picked up by a white Mercedes van and brought to a house in west Dublin where he spent the night.

Armed gardaí raided the house in Blakestown the following morning and found notes showing the name "James Gately" and a Newry address.

Arakas also used an encrypted Blackberry phone to receive information on Mr Gately.

A married father-of-two, Arakas had a stroke in Mountjoy jail last month.

He served 15 years after being convicted at the Supreme Court of the USSR of theft, escape from prison and firearms offences.

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