How Daniel Kinahan woke a sleeping giant by making an enemy of the Irish state
Neale Richmond TD told Dublin Live he believes Gardai and diplomats are circling the wounded mobster Watch moment Gardai bust into Kinahan associate’s house in daring daytime raid Current Time 0:00 / Duration 0:33
The Kinahan Cartel rarely picks a fight it doesn’t believe it will win.
But when Daniel Kinahan made an enemy of the Irish state, he woke a sleeping giant.
In a vain attempt at airbrushing what Irish courts have ruled about his links to a drug empire, he embarked on a PR campaign to reinvent himself as a heavyweight boxing powerbroker.
The final step in this twisted rebranding was meant to be the 42-year-old’s unveiling as the broker in the biggest money-spinning bout in UK boxing history between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
But when he stepped into the ring as a “legitimate businessman” last month, Kinahan found the might of the Irish state staring back from the other corner.
He was called out in the Dail in an extraordinary exchange between Leo Varadkar and Alan Kelly.
But one of the most vocal of his new political opponents was first-time TD Neale Richmond.
The Dublin Rathdown representative hit the cartel chief where it hurts when he contacted sport TV companies whose megabucks deals underpin boxing.
When BT Sport and Sky Sport distanced themselves from any Kinahan deal, the crime lord was left reeling.
That blow was swiftly followed by Fury saying he was to cut his ties to the mob boss before it was announced Kinahan was to withdraw from boxing for good to pursue “other interests”.
With the cartel chief’s dreams of respectability on the ropes, the 37-year-old politician wants the Irish state to go in for the knockout blow.
He told Dublin Live he believes Gardai and diplomats are circling the wounded mobster.
And today he throws down a gauntlet – urging Kinahan to return from his self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates and answer the findings and rulings of the Irish courts that the cartel he leads is steeped in drugs and arms smuggling.
Deputy Richmond told Dublin Live: “Daniel Kinahan needs to come back to Ireland to answer to the very many rulings of the High Court and what’s been accepted by the Special Criminal Court.
“The work of the Kinahan cartel has been an absolute blight on the streets of our capital for some years now.
“There are so many victims’ families that want justice, innocent people like Martin O’Rourke caught up in the feud.”
The Fine Gael TD, who ousted Shane Ross from his seat in the election, believes the net is tightening on one of the country’s most notorious crime figures.
He said: “Ultimately as has been said, he has no criminal convictions and it is a police matter to build a case.
“We don’t have an extradition agreement with the UAE or Bahrain but I think the state has done a lot of positive things and the work of the guards and our diplomatic corps in respect of Daniel Kinahan has been very strong from what I have learned.”
Deputy Richmond told how he had alerted media and political contacts built up while involved with Brexit talks from his four-year stint in the Seanad.
He said: “I leaned on my contacts and exposure built up in the UK in that instance to shine the light on who we in Ireland know Daniel Kinahan to be.
“A couple of people were embarrassed that they were not aware of it and a few people were absolutely shocked.
“It’s the biggest British boxing match ever and the announcement is really tainted.
“I’m a boxing fan normally I would have ordered this fight but there is no way I would get it in on per for view knowing Daniel Kinahan had involvement.”