Update: Irish Times 23rd May 2020: Full page article: Daniel Kinahan: International media tells a different story by Conor Gallagher. Essential reading.
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Claims FG behind feud murder are ‘grotesque’ – Flanagan
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has described claims Fine Gael were involved in the Regency Hotel shooting as “grotesque” and “outlandish”.
Mr Flanagan said he expects gardaí and UK police are monitoring a YouTube channel which uploaded a short documentary suggesting a Fine Gael-led government orchestrated the shooting during the 2016 general election campaign.
“The new government will prioritise tightening up on this kind of communication,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, former Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who features in the YouTube video, described the claims as “outrageous”.
“It’s outrageous to suggest that democratically elected politicians would have any sort of links to that level of serious criminal behaviour,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
The claim was made in a 14-minute, professionally made documentary published on a YouTube channel run by a Birmingham media organisation called Scarcity Studios.
The video features a re-enactment of the violent murder of David Byrne in the Regency Hotel in February 2016 during a weigh-in for a boxing match.
It features the false allegation that the gangland murder was linked to the 2016 campaign as Fine Gael used the crime to criticise Sinn Féin’s position on the special criminal courts.
Gardaí believe Daniel Kinahan was the main target of the gang who stormed the venue dressed in Garda uniforms.
Kinahan has been named in the High Court as being a central figure in an international drugs cartel established by his father Christy Kinahan.
Daniel Kinahan escaped the hotel unharmed and the attack led to a wave of violent murders of people linked to Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.
At least two innocent people were killed during the horrific feud. Patrick Hutch went on trial for the murder of David Byrne but the charges against him were dropped by the State last February.
Another suspect, Kevin ‘Flat Cap’ Murray, died in the North before he could be extradited to face murder and firearm charges.
Kinahan Cartel one of biggest drug gangs in €30billion EU drug trade, new report reveals
THE Kinahan Cartel is one of the biggest drugs gangs in the world, a new report has suggested.
The 220-page report also reveals how the Irish cartel, fronted by Kinahan brothers Daniel and Christie Jr, is expanding into Australia and New Zealand and references the litany of drug-related murders in Ireland in recent years.
It gives a chilling insight into how the drug gangs operate in Ireland in relation to punishment violence and murders, grooming of young people into drug gangs and Ireland as a drug route, as part of its forensic assessment of the European illicit drug market.
The 2019 EU Drug Markets Report revealed 39 per cent of drug revenue is spent on cannabis, 31 per cent on cocaine, 25 per cent on heroin and 5 per cent on amphetamines.
The warring gangs in Ireland were highlighted by the study in relation to “grave concern” over the “increase in violence around cocaine importation activities”.
It noted: “Homicides and kidnappings between crime groups in Europe now appear to be more frequent and violent than in the past.
“A war between two rival Irish gangs involved in cocaine importation and distribution in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand has led to at least 15 murders, many in public places, in Ireland and Spain since 2015.”
The report said disciplinary intimidation, much of it related to drug debt, has escalated.
THREE-TIER HIERARCHY STRUCTURE
It added: “Notably, in Ireland, many communities have been severely affected, with major impacts on the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities and functioning of local services and agencies.”
It also said the drug distribution networks in Ireland appear to be structured as a three-tier hierarchy with a lower tier of highly disadvantaged young people generally involved in bullying, assaulting, stealing, vandalising and spreading fear on behalf of the network.
A middle tier of young people typically engaged in high-risk, low-reward activities, such as transporting, holding or dealing drugs, carrying guns, and conducting shootings, beatings and serious intimidation and a higher tier of serious players who are in control.
WAKE-UP CALL FOR POLICYMAKERS
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said yesterday the report is a clear wake-up call for policymakers to address the rapidly growing drug market, which is increasingly joined-up and digitally enabled. He said: “A mounting concern is the rise in drug-related violence and corruption within the EU.
“Acting on the far-reaching consequences of the drug market for health and for security must now be an urgent priority.”
The report also noted the involvement of Vietnamese Organised Crime Groups in cannabis cultivation in EU Member States including Ireland, the UK, the Czech Republic as well as Norway and Sweden for a number of years.
Ireland was also named as a destination country for cannabis resin and the authors said it is possible it is a transit country for herbal cannabis coming from the Caribbean for a potential market in the UK but the amounts are very little.
EUROPE MAJOR PRODUCER OF CANNABIS
The report said: “Herbal cannabis is trafficked from Spain directly to Ireland and the United Kingdom, and, after transiting through several countries, to eastern and northern Europe.”
It revealed the wholesale price of 1kg of herbal cannabis is €8,000.
The report also told how cocaine production in South America and heroin production in Afghanistan are estimated to be at historically high levels.
Europe is also a major producer of cannabis and synthetic drugs for the EU market and to some extent is a global supplier of MDMA and amphetamine.
INCREASE IN TRAFFICKING ACTIVITY
The report noted the EU and the Balkan region appear to be increasingly used as transit areas for cocaine destined for other markets such as Australia, Russia, Turkey, as well as the Middle East and Asia.