‘Mistake’ hit Thug involved in James ‘Mago’ Gately murder plot was part of gang suspected of killing innocent man
Duffy was also a trusted member of a west Dublin gang who were involved in a bitter feud with rival criminal James ‘Nellie’ Walsh.
June 27 2021 02:30 AM
A man who was involved in a plot to murder James ‘Mago’ Gately was part of a gang suspected of murdering an innocent man in a case of mistaken identity.
David ‘Blinky’ Duffy (34) appeared before the Special Criminal Court this week, where he has pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to kill Gately as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud between December 7, 2016, and April 6, 2017.
The Sunday World can reveal that Duffy was also a trusted member of a west Dublin gang who were involved in a bitter feud with rival criminal James ‘Nellie’ Walsh.
The gang, led by close associates of murdered money launderer Jason Carroll who was shot dead in 2013, have been suspected of carrying out at least three murders since 2013 and are heavily involved in drug supply in west Dublin.
The gang are linked to the Kinahan cartel, who enlisted their services as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
Duffy had links to Kinahan money launderer Carroll, who was shot dead at his home on Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin, Dublin, in August 2013.
Gangland gunman James ‘Nellie’ Walsh, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence for a non-fatal gun attack on Michael Frazer, was the prime suspect in the attack on Carroll but never faced any charges in relation to the killing.
Days before Carroll was killed, innocent man Dean Johnson was shot dead in Clondalkin in a case of mistaken identity.
The gunman mistook him for Walsh, who had swapped jackets with Johnson shortly before.
Walsh had been drinking in Finches pub shortly before the shooting and spotted rival criminals who spent the night smiling at him.
It is believed some of them may have made phone calls to alert others that Walsh was there and what he was wearing so he could be picked out by a waiting hitman afterwards.
However, Walsh, who knew he was a target, swapped jackets with innocent Johnson after leaving the pub and that is what is believed to have led to Johnson being killed in a case of mistaken identity.
Duffy’s pal Jay O’Connor, who was once linked to the Westies crime gang, was one of the suspects in carrying out the killing but was never charged in relation to it.
Duffy was acting as a driver for the gang at the time, so came under suspicion as someone who may have provided logistical support.
However, there was never any evidence to prove he had any involvement and he never faced any charges in relation to the hit.
The feud between associates of Walsh and associates of Carroll claimed two more lives in 2017.
John Gibson, who was in a relationship with Walsh’s sister, was shot dead outside Eddie Rocket’s in Citywest, Dublin, in 2017 – days before his pal Darragh Nugent was shot dead.
Gardai believe the killings were linked and the gang linked to Carroll were once again prime suspects.
Duffy is also a pal of Peter ‘Peader’ Keating, who is also charged in relation to the plot to kill Gately.
Keating was understood to be one of five people who sources said Walsh had put on his death list after the murder of Dean Johnson.
Keating is further charged with directing the activities of a criminal organisation between December 7, 2016, and April 4, 2017, within and without the State under Section 71 of the Act.
Two other men, Stephen Fowler (61) of Blakestown Cottages, Clonsilla, Dublin 15, and Douglas Glynn (35) of Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1, are also due before the Special Criminal Court to face trial in relation to the plot against Gately.
At Duffy’s hearing the court heard Gately became a target because criminals believed he was involved in the Regency Hotel attack in 2016, in which David Byrne was shot dead.
Duffy provided ‘logistical’ support by moving vehicles around and by purchasing tracker devices to place on Gately’s vehicle.
He also booked flights and ferry tickets for others involved in the plot and phone evidence shows he was travelling in convoy with others involved in the plot at different stages.
Estonian hitman Imre Arakas travelled to Ireland to help take out Gately, but he was arrested before he could carry out the attack and is serving a six-year sentence.
Gately was injured in another hit attempt carried out by Caolan Smyth in May 2017, just one month after Arakas was arrested. Smyth is serving 20 years for that attack.
The Kinahan cartel bank-rolled both operations.
Duffy will be sentenced on July 30.