Christy Kinahan Snr furious amid fears his family could be booted out of Dubai
The crime godfather is understood to be angry his son Daniel has placed the clan in the international spotlight
It’s a tale that’s as old as the underworld.
The ageing Don hoping to see the family name whitewashed by the younger generation.
A succession that would witness the dynasty emerge from the shadow of its criminal DNA to become legitimate in the eyes of society.
In his gilded Middle East bolthole, that has been the dream of Christy Kinahan Snr as he watched his son Daniel’s bid to shake off the reputation of a crime empire that bears the family name.
But in recent weeks he has watched as that dream crashed and burned in the desert hideaway where the Kinahans had been rebuilding and rebranding the family business.
And the old Don is furious. What began as a distant rumble in Ireland has become a shockwave that is threatening to sweep away his empire in the sun.
It’s just two short months since a sports company linked to the royal family in Bahrain issued a press release on its partnership with the MTK boxing team and quoted its new advisor Daniel Kinahan as if he were just any other corporate honcho.
That was followed by an extraordinary tweet from heavyweight champion Tyson Fury telling the world that four years after a murder at a boxing event in a Dublin hotel had sparked a gang war that cost 18 lives, Daniel Kinahan was back at the very top of the fight game.
He was stepping from the shadows as the powerbroker behind one of the biggest fights in history.
And then – just when “Don” Christy must have thought the family was about to get out – they were dragged back in. Irish journalists and political figures led a furious backlash.
First the TV money that would fuel the €250million fight got spooked.
Then Fury distanced himself from the man he credited with getting the deal over the line for a clash with rival Anthony Joshua.
The blows rained down fast and furious with a damning Special Criminal Court ruling in no doubt the crime gang bearing the Kinahans’ name was behind murder and mayhem on the streets.
Even more alarming for the Old Don, was when he heard the family business being discussed in the Dail.
The Taoiseach himself said the State was in contact with Daniel Kinahan’s Arab hosts in the UAE to inform them of the rulings of various Irish courts. Senior gardai also vowed to not stop until they take out the top layer of the cartel.
For the first time since Spanish cops frogmarched him in his underwear and handcuffs from his Costa del Sol stronghold in 2010, the Don is feeling the heat again. The spotlight is now firmly upon his Dubai fortress and the short-tempered Kinahan Snr is said to be furious.
The country which does not even tolerate photographers on the streets had provided the perfect exile to lay low from the Kinahan-Hutch feud and rebuild following that Spanish probe.
In the heavily-policed state where surveillance is a way of life and money is a ticket to respectability, Kinahan feels untouchable.
While younger criminals carried out the dirty work at home, the educated Don has busied himself setting up business deals according to sources.
He flies regularly to commercial hubs like Hong Kong and investigators believe he has assets beyond the reach of police probes such as the ongoing Operation Shovel in Spain.
That 2010 investigation showed the scale of Kinahan Snr’s ambition.
Police were stunned to discover a €500million property and business empire stretching as far as Brazil.
But as that original Spanish probe has faltered, there are those that believe it only found the tip of an iceberg that the cartel wished it to see.
Gardai believe the financial tentacles of the empire have continued to spread abroad in the decade since.
To those who have watched his career, it’s no surprise Kinahan Snr rose above the grubby reality of the organised crime group bearing his surname. He stands alone among his criminal peers from 1980s Dublin.
For a start he is alive, unlike godfather Martin Cahill. The law didn’t beat him yet, like it did John Gilligan.
And he still lives the high life of a movie mobster, while the young guns that came after him carry on feuds from fortified Dublin council houses – in many cases shooting each other over drugs imported by the Kinahan Organised Crime Group with weapons imported by the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.
Contrary to the myth of the hardened inner-city Don, Christy Kinahan was born and reared in middle-class Drumcondra. When Ireland’s first drug lord Larry Dunne infamously warned about the criminals coming after him, he wasn’t looking too far over his shoulder.
The first to fill the vacuum was the ambitious Kinahan who began peddling heroin in 1986 as soon as Dunne was out of the picture.
It earned him a six-year stint in prison on drugs charges.
He used his time behind bars well, making contacts like his long- standing ally John “The Colonel” Cunningham and educating himself to speak several languages.
A self-styled man of the world, he was the first major league Irish criminal to spot the potential to do business in Amsterdam and Spain.
He even swallowed his reservations when the next generation began inviting loose cannons from home to share the fruits of the life he built on the Costa del Crime
He indulged his boy Daniel as he brought Liam Byrne, Freddie Thompson and Gary Hutch into the inner circle.
And when the young guns got out of hand, the man dubbed the Dapper Don tried to sort it the old school way. After a botched hit on his son Daniel, the finger was pointing at Gary Hutch, up to then a trusted lieutenant in the business.
The hotter young heads wanted payback.
In Christy’s worldview that meant cash. Sources believe he brokered a €200,000 compo deal with Gary’s uncle, his old contemporary Gerry Hutch.
But despite the truce, a hitman pumped five bullets into Gary Hutch as he chased him around the pool of a Spanish apartment complex.
Watch moment Gardai bust into Kinahan associate’s house in daring daytime raid
That led to the attack at the Regency that ended Daniel’s first attempt at boxing respectability and left mobster David Byrne dead.
The Kinahan and the Byrne organised crimes groups would wreak a terrible revenge, leaving the streets of the capital littered with bodies.
But the shots fired at the Regency are still echoing today far away in the desert.
The trail of blood it started has now led all the way back to the Kinahans’ door and exposed them to the full glare of the authorities.
As the net tightens again. The Dapper Don’s biggest fear is that this time it might stick.