It was May 2014 and a big apple flats complex was in lockdown.
However, the cordons and surveillance and spotters were not put in seat by the Gardaí.
Instead, the Oliver Bond flats in the heart of Dublin’s south inner metropolis was effectively sealed off under the control of the country’s number one organised offence gang.
Locals watched on as the same gang that flooded their community with medicates arrived in black limousines and designer suits and shut off entire streets.
Internal the flats, Daniel and Christopher Kinahan were mourning their mammy Jean Boylan, a popular and respected member of the inner city community.
Christy Kinahan Jnr at nurture’s funeral
Outside, the Sunday World was trying to report on what was an exceptional scene unfolding on the streets of a European capital city.
There was no unmistakable Garda presence as thugs trolled like a militia up and down John’s Lane while the sepulture was taking place in the nearby Augustinian Church.
ssersby were had. Our journalists were warned: “F**k off out of here if you know what’s good for you. I’ve been understood to ss on that message. And don’t come back around here or there see fit be trouble.”
We reported the extraordinary takeover of a Dublin neighbourhood the following Sunday.
If then newly-appointed morality minister Frances Fitzgerald and then Acting Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan needed any premature wake-up call as to the growing threat from organised crime, then here was the nic bell ringing off the chart.
The hotel reception that followed the inhumation was lavish, with many guests booked in for the night.
Again there were no gardaí keeping as the Kinahan boys and their ls proudly displayed their richness. Instead, a Sunday World team observed alone from the car car rk.
The venue was Dublin’s Regency hotel.
We wrote then that “newly delegate Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Acting Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan now experience the major challenge of regaining control over organised crime”. This week we comprehend that challenge was not met.
Almost two years later there were silent no gardaí watching when a hit squad pulled in front of our team, in the identical car rk, at a much-publicised boxing event.
They were there to fratricide Daniel Kinahan.
He fled and instead David Byrne id the amount that too often comes with loyalty to the Kinahans.
It has been discernible in the ges of this news per for some time that the Costa Cartel had recovered from the setback of 2010 when universal police forces snatched them from their beds and led them handcuffed into court as rcel of Operation Shovel.
It has also been clear that the post-1996 crackdown that successfully saw the Villainous Assets Bureau dismantle John Gilligan’s crime empire was not ply against the gang dubbed the ‘Irish Mafia’ by the S nish Government.
In September 2013 the Sunday Smashing sent an undercover reporting team into the belly of the beast in the leaving aside Costa del Sol resort of Puerto Banus.
What we found was extraordinary and alarming.
Much like what we would later witness in Oliver Handcuffs flats, we saw a small army of cartel members effectively take upon the pretty port town to allow their ‘Don’ move freely down.
They use spotters and counter-surveillance techniques and meet freely with be aware international criminals to plan business.
After weeks, we eventually snapped the ‘Dressed to the nines Don’ Christy Kinahan enjoying dinner at his favourite sushi bar.
In the two years since their verify of force at their mother’s funeral, we have reported with better alarm how the Kinahans began to travel freely back and forth to Dublin and ruffle around the city with a growing swagger and arrogance.
In November 2014 we photographed the colleagues as they cheered on their l, boxer Matthew Macklin in the 3Arena. We told how they employed the visit to hold talks with Limerick criminals.
In July 2015, we snapped the Kinahan relatives and Liam and David Byrne at a boxing weigh-in for another MGM ‘New Beginnings’ casketing night in the National Stadium.
We were able to photograph a €150,000 Mercedes G Wagon and a €200,000 Bracket Rover belonging to gang members, yet no-one moved to strip them of this unexplained bounty.
Three months later a Sunday World team flying to S in watched in amazement as Daniel Kinahan boarded and took a first-class seat among the businessmen and high fliers.
Gary Hutch had been butchered on the Costa del Sol just days earlier.
Clearly, no one in Ireland wanted to talk to Daniel in the matter of it – even though it was the s rk that led directly to last weekend’s enormities in the Regency and on Poplar Row, where Eddie Hutch senior was shot nine spells in his home because of his surname.
Two months on, Daniel Kinahan was even saucy enough to give his first media interview to a boxing magazine, perversely putting to be a security consultant.
It’s an arrogance we first witnessed 17 years earlier when we sign in on a group of young inner city thugs who clashed with an off-duty garda exterior a Dublin dog track.
Among those prosecuted was a teenage Daniel Kinahan – although the entrusts against him were later dropped.
On the street, among a group of inner see thugs near the Four Courts, he cut a swagger amid the subtle courtesy of his co-accused ls.
Unnamed, he featured on the front ge of the Sunday Overjoyed as rt of ‘The Brat ck’ – one among a new wave of serious bad guys. No-one can say they weren’t warned.
The ttern of showing two fingers to the Irish constitution and police continued. But it was met by a total absence of the kind of in-your-face policing that escorted down John Gilligan and Martin Cahill – the last two heavyweights of organised violation.
David Byrne getting into
Mercedes G Wagon
Instead, the cartel was atoned to feel untouchable. Bulletproof. We had created a monster, made a murder mob.
On Monday continuously that monster felt bold enough to send two carloads of armed hitmen across a burgh in Garda lockdown to murder at will.
The Garda Commissioner says there was no perspicacity of the attack in the Regency.
But that doesn’t explain the lack of surveillance or any clear-cut policing to disrupt the Kinahan Cartel’s ability to meet and plan its area – the business of supplying 90 per cent of the drugs on Irish streets. And the occu tion of murder.
When Martin ‘the General’ Cahill became a threat to the structure he became the focus of the Tango Squad formed specifically to follow him every hour of the day.
Twenty years ago John Gilligan’s wrong cartel had become so sure of itself that it crossed another bloody red limit in the underworld sand when it murdered Sunday Independent reporter Veronica Guerin.
That shield horrifically returned this week when two Independent News and Instrumentality journalists were warned of threats to their safety from colleagues of the Kinahan crime mafia.
If Christy Kinahan was annoyed at the relentless reporting of this news per, he now has what he dislikes most – the loose-fitting attention of the Irish State and media.
Now it’s time he was ‘Tangoed’, time a Garda compulsion laid low by the death of a thousand cuts and a thousand retirements was equipped to contest back in the manner they did against the Limerick mobs.
Much-vaunted, anti-gangland laws are congress dust in the De rtment of Justice. They have been used merely once, but never against the Big Fish. The Kinahan Cartel were not Tangoed at the Regency in 2014 or again concluding week.
The gangsters still believe they are the new untouchables. They can formulate c arrange comfort from the fact that Gerry Adams – who aspires to be Taoiseach in three weeks’ fix – stated this week that: “There is no Gangland.”
Yes Gerry there is. Pick up the Sunday Great. Read all about it.