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HITMAN NAILED

Evil hitman Caolan Smyth targeted by slain Sean Little’s father in plot to whack him in revenge for son’s murder

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  • 6 Jan 2021, 10:14
  • Updated: 6 Jan 2021, 10:33

EVIL thug Caolan Smyth was targeted by slain Coolock feud victim Sean Little’s father in a plot to whack him in revenge for his son’s murder, gardai believe.

The Irish Sun can reveal that the hitman was blamed for playing a role in Little’s death in May 2019.

Caolan Smyth walking the streets of the inner city in
            December 2018
Caolan Smyth walking the streets of the inner city in December 2018
Sean Little was shot dead in 2019
Sean Little was shot dead in 2019
Caolan Smyth and Scott Capper
Caolan Smyth and Scott Capper
James 'Mago' Gately was shot in May, 2017
James ‘Mago’ Gately was shot in May, 2017

Smyth was yesterday found guilty of the attempted murder of Kinahan target James ‘Mago’ Gately in 2017.

Hutch associate Gately was shot five times as he sat in his car at the Topaz filling station on the Clonshaugh Road, in north Dublin, at lunchtime on May 10, 2017.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt yesterday said it was beyond any reasonable doubt that Caolan Smyth was both the gunman and the driver in an “organised murder” attempt.

The non-jury Special Criminal Court concluded that Smyth, 28, was both the driver who pulled up by Mago’s Ford Mondeo and the ­gunman who fired the shots.

But Gately survived the attempt on his life thanks to a ­bulletproof vest having been warned by gardai that his life was under threat.

Justice Hunt said CCTV – along with circumstantial and garda ­evidence – identified Smyth as the gunman.

MURDER CAR

It also linked him to what he dubbed “the murder car”.

Maniac Smyth, of Donore, Co Meath, had staked out Gately’s home both the day before and the day of the ­shooting but did not realise he was under surveillance by gardai.

Seconds after being blasted, ­dad-of-two Mago, from Dublin’s north inner city, told cops to get him a “f******g ambulance” as he lay on the Topaz forecourt.

Another man, Gary McAreavey, 52, of Castlebellingham, Co Louth, was also found guilty yesterday for his part in burning out the car used in the kill bid.

He had pleaded not guilty to­ ­acting to “impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle used in the attempted murder” of Gately.

HUTCH LOYALTY

Gately – once a close pal of caged killer Fat Freddie Thompson was targeted by the cartel because of his loyalty to the Hutch gang.

Well-known gangster Smyth, 28, was previously a close associate of bling-loving Finglas mobster Mr Flashy and his cronies Mohammed Smew and Scott Capper.

However, the tables turned on the thug when he was blamed for the murder of Coolock feud victim Little on May 21, 2019.

Smyth was targeted by drug dealer Little’s father in a plot to whack him as he was trying to avenge his son’s murder, gardai believe.

MAJOR ESCALATION

The murder – which saw ­Little shot in the head and left beside a burning car off Dublin’s M1 after his pal Zach Parker was killed in ­January – was a major escalation in the Coolock dispute.

It sparked paranoia across gangs and the once closest of pals became sworn enemies with Flashy’s muscle Hamid Sanambar lured to Little’s house seven days later and blasted to death in the driveway.

The attention then turned to Smyth – who had ­previously been hired by mob boss Daniel Kinahan’s cartel – and he went into hiding across various boltholes including in Dublin’s south inner city and Ardee, Co Louth.

Investigators also believe he lost the backing of his close allies including Flashy and his associates.

BIZZARE

In a bizarre move, Smyth flew to the UK and took a lie detector test – posting the results on social media in a bid to clear his name.

But the yob’s attempts failed and he remained a major target over Little.

His dad Stephen was determined to get revenge over his son’s death but an attempt by the angry thug to kill Smyth was thwarted by cops.

Gardai intercepted Little Snr and associate Edward McDonnell with a firearm in Harmonstown, Dublin on September 14, 2019.

Raging Little told gardai after his arrest: “Had you given me another hour, I would have killed the b*****d that killed him.”

FOILED MURDER BIDS

Gardai foiled a number of other hits following Little’s murder.

A source told the Irish Sun: “Paranoia was rife following the murder of Little and Smyth was one of those people blamed over it.

“He is a dangerous character and has history. Little’s associates were furious and they wanted people to pay for the murder. There was numerous hits foiled by gardai.”

Smyth – one of the main contract killers recruited by the Kinahan cartel for its war on the Hutch mob – targeted Gately just over a month after Estonian hitman Imre Arakas had him in his sights.

MONITORED

On that occasion, Arakas flew into Dublin from Spain on April 3, 2017. After landing in the capital, the former soldier’s every move was being monitored by the Gardai.

At the time, Gately — who was once trained in boxing by Daniel Kinahan in Spain – had been ­living in the North because of the €500,000 price on his head by the Kinahan mob.

Despite living across the border, the Kinahans hatched a plot to kill one of their top targets.

After landing from Spain, Arakas posed as a ­foreign backpacker as he walked around the capital.

TRACKED

The Estonian was later tracked to a west Dublin house and arrested.

During a search of the pad, officers recovered an encrypted phone with the ­contract killer’s order.

In a series of messages, Arakas said: “It seems possible to take him down when he comes out of the car then on the way to the front door.

“The problem is there is nowhere to hide. A silencer would be good and it would be very good if the ‘dog’ (gun) be accurate.

“It could be just one shot to the head from ­distance.”

KINAHAN CONTACT

Gardai also believe that Arakas – later jailed for six years – was in direct contact with Daniel Kinahan about the hit.

Although now living in Dubai, Christy Kinahan’s eldest son remains a ‘person of interest’ in an ongoing probe into the botched hit.

After Arakas’ arrest, the cartel turned to one of their sub-cells operating in the north Dublin area to target Gately and hired Smyth.

But Smyth was later ostracised by the Kinahan mob over his ­failure to kill Gately.

LOW PROFILE

Since the attempts on his life, Gately has remained a low profile in his native north inner city.

Smyth was once a close associate of Mr Flashy’s ‘Gucci Gang’ and even attended slain drug dealer Zach Parker’s funeral in a stretch limo alongside the mob boss and Scott Capper.

They later turned on him amid the uproar of the Coolock feud but now Smyth faces a lengthy term alongside many of them.

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