Republic of Ireland news

Leo Varadkar 'taken aback' to hear Tyson Fury namecheck Dublin crime figure Daniel Kinahan

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury (right) during their WBC Heavyweight Championship fight in 2018
Cate McCurry, Press Association

The Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs has contacted authorities in the United Arab Emirates regarding the controversy surrounding Daniel Kinahan, Leo Varadkar has confirmed.

It comes after British boxer Tyson Fury thanked UAE-based Kinahan for reaching an agreement for him to fight Anthony Joshua next year.

Fury said yesterday Kinahan was responsible for organising "the biggest fight in British boxing history".

READ MORE: Road to Tyson Fury's comeback started in Belfast

The High Court in Dublin previously named Kinahan as a senior figure in an organised crime gang involved in international drug trafficking and firearm offences.

Mr Varadkar told the Dail today: "I was taken aback by Tyson Fury and his video and dropping in that name you mentioned."

He said Kinahan has a "chequered history" in the state.

Mr Varadkar added: "While I cannot comment on any particular garda operation, I can certainly assure you that there has been contact between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the authorities in the United Arab Emirates about that matter."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association

He made the comments in response to Labour leader Alan Kelly, who called for the Irish Government to intervene in the controversy.

Mr Kelly said: "There is an individual from our country who is, according to the High Court, a very senior figure in organised crime on a global scale.

"According to CAB (Criminal Assets Bureau), he has controlled and managed operations of the Kinahan organised crime group for some time.

"He has now rebranded himself in the Middle East as a boxing promoter and one of the most famous individuals involved in that has described him as a 'smart, able and honest man'.

"Taoiseach, our country has had to intervene here through the Department of Foreign Affairs with the UAE in relation to this individual.

"We owe it to the victims of such a cartel, our country needs to do this and needs to do it today.

"We also need to communicate very strongly with certain sports broadcasters and certain sports companies and other companies involved in this.

"This is an important juncture and I would ask you through the minister for foreign affairs to highlight how important this is for us because of parasitical criminal activities of this individual."

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