Ireland’s bloodiest gang wars – from the Kinahan cartel to the Drogheda feud
The fight for power and dominance has always been at the core of all gangland battles.
The garda display Kinahan gang guns and ammunition seized since 2015 Current
Ireland has seen its fair share of bloody gangland feuds over the years.
From the notorious Kinahan cartel and the Hutch gang feud to the Dundon-McCarthy criminal outfit taking on the Keane-Collopy gang in Limerick, the fight for power and dominance has always been at their core.
THE KINAHAN CARTEL – HUTCH GANG
Without a doubt the bloodiest feud in Irish history. The Kinahan cartel and Hutch gang feud started in September 2015 when Gary Hutch, the nephew of Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch, was murdered in Spain.
He is believed to have been murdered by the Kinahan gang, of which he was once a member, for being an alleged garda informer.
It’s understood his family had negotiated for months to spare his life and paid €200,000 to do so.
However, the deal was reneged on and he was murdered anyway.
In December 2015, just three months later, Gerry Hutch escapes an attempt on his life when two men in balaclavas burst into a pub in Lanzarote just minutes after he had left.
What followed was the murder of David Byrne, 35, in February 2016 when armed men wearing imitation Garda SWAT team uniforms stormed a boxing fight weigh in and targeted a number of those in attendance.
Just three days later, Gerry Hutch’s innocent taxi driver brother Eddie Hutch Snr, was gunned down at his flat on the North Strand in Dublin.
And the following month Noel ‘Kingsize’ Duggan, a friend of ‘The Monk’ was shot dead while sitting in a car in the Old Mill housing estate in Ratoath, Co Meath.
What followed was years of tit-for-tat killings which resulted in up to 18 lives being claimed, many of them innocent bystanders.
They included innocent dad-of-three Martin O’Rourke who was killed in a case of mistaken identity as well as Dubliner Trevor O’Neill who was gunned down as he walked with his young family during a holiday in Spain.
THE CRUMLIN- DRIMNAGH FEUD IN DUBLIN
The feud began in 2001 and led to at least 12 people being murdered, multiple stabbings, shootings and pipe bomb attacks.
It kicked off when a drugs shipment of €1.5m worth of cocaine and ecstasy was seized by gardai while trying to be smuggled into Dublin.
Members of the same gang split following the seizure and years of bloodshed ensued.
The first victim of the feud was Declan Gavin, 21, who was stabbed to death outside an Abrakebabra fast food shop in Crumlin by a masked man in August 2001.
His killing led to Gavin’s pal Freddie Thompson going to war with his rival Brian Rattigan from Drimnagh.
The next victim was Joseph Rattigan, brother of gang leader Brian Rattigan, who was murdered the following July.
In February 2004, Paul Warren, 23, was shot dead in a suspected retaliation attack for Joseph Rattigan’s murder.
In March 2005, the same gang suspected of killing Joseph Rattigan murder John Roche, 24, in Kilmainham, Dublin.
In 2019, following an appeal, Brian Rattigan is sentenced to nine years for the manslaughter of Gavin in August 2001.
While one time rival Freddie Thompson is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of David Douglas.
THE DROGHEDA FEUD
The Drogheda feud, which is thought to involve up to 80 people, is believed to have started in July 2018 when a local man was shot and wounded in Drogheda, Co Louth. He survives the attack but is left paralysed.
The war escalated and in late 2018 when a young man was found beaten and stabbed in a bathroom. Arson attacks and petrol bombs being thrown at houses followed.
The feud grabbed national headlines in particular when the limbs of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods were discovered in a bag in Dublin.
It’s believed he had no idea he was going to be killed after he was coaxed into a car and lured to a meeting at a nearby house.
Gardai are now satisfied that evil hitman Robbie Lawlor attacked the teenager and watched him die.
One bag with his limbs was dumped on a pavement in Darndale, Dublin, in January.
The next day his head, hands and other body parts were found in a burnt-out car in Drumcondra.
Despite extensive efforts by gardai, his torso was never found.
A second suspect then hacked up the body with an axe and put the remains into separate bags.
Gardai and the public were shocked by the brutality of his death.
THE GUCCI GANG VS RIVALS IN DUBLIN
THE Gucci gang have been causing mayhem across Coolock, Finglas and West Dublin for the last couple of years.
The criminal outfit members, who are mostly teenagers or men in their early 20’s, are known as The Gucci Gang because of their love for designer gear.
They have taken over the drugs turf in these areas causing many feuds with local rival gangs.
They are led by a thug called Mr Flashy who is also linked to the Kinahan Organised Crime Group and is involved in a violent feud of his own in the general Finglas area.
He is known to recruit teenagers as young as 13 to carry out his dirty work.
THE LIMERICK FEUD – MCCARTHY-DUNDONS AND THE KEANE-COLLOPY GANG
THE feud began in 2000 when criminals Christy Keane and his close ally Eddie Ryan fell out.
A school yard row between their daughters is believed to have been the catalyst with Keane being approached by Ryan while sitting in a parked car outside a school waiting for one of his two children.
Ryan produced a gun which jammed. Just two nights later there was a reprisal when Ryan was shot dead while drinking in a bar.
As the feud between the two developed, Ryan’s family formed allegiance with the McCarthy-Dundon faction while Keane joined forces with the Collopys.
The feud was centred around the Moyross and Ballinacurra Weston areas where the McCarthy/Dundon side lived.
The opposing faction lived generally in the Saint Munchin’s Park area – also known locally as the Island Field.
Years of violence followed including a man being stabbed 17 times and left for dead and a man being tortured and shot.
In one dramatic episode Eddie Ryan’s sons were allegedly kidnapped as part of a supposed double cross strategy to target gang boss Kieran Keane.
In January 2003 Eddie Junior and Kieran ‘Rashers’ Ryan were bundled into a van.
The theory explored by gardai was that the Dundon mob had offered to shoot the brothers. It was believed Kieran Keane offered to pay €60,000 in return for the Ryan brothers’ murder.
It was in fact a double cross and was used to lead Kieran Keane into a trap – he was subsequently murdered.
It is believed that 20 murders happened after Eddie Ryan was shot dead at the Moose Bar in Limerick.
In recent years, the leaders of the McCarthy-Dundon’s, Wayne, Dessie and John Dundon, have been sentenced to life imprisonment for different murders, resulting from gang members and relatives of the brothers becoming supergrasses.
The feud is believed to have claimed up to 13 lives.
THE WESTIES IN DUBLIN VS LOCAL DRUG GANGS
The Westies were one of the most feared gangs in Dublin during the early 2000’s and controlled the drug trade in the capital with an iron fist.
The gang was known for its extreme violence against rival gangs and drug addicts who couldn’t pay their debts.
The Westies ruthless crime bosses Shane Coates, 31, and 27-year-old Stephen Sugg were found buried in concrete in an industrial estate on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
The men were executed and their bodies covered over in Catral, 15km from the popular resort of Torrevieja and 40km from Alicante.
Those behind their brutal murders had gone to extreme lengths to conceal the bodies.
They had dug a 6ft grave, dumped the men’s remains in the hole and covered it with concrete.
The feared drug kingpins had been missing for two years and were last seen in January 2004 as they left their apartments at Orihuela Costa, outside Torrevieja.
They had told their girlfriends they would be back in an hour but were never seen alive again.
Coates first fled Ireland following a shoot-out with undercover gardai in Virginia, Co Cavan, while Sugg left in mid-2003 after he was shot at by other drug dealers.
Gardai in Blanchardstown had tipped off Spanish police after an intelligence tout revealed their final resting place.