The arrest of criminal gang leader Liam Byrne clearly represents ‘the beginning of the end’ for the criminal Kinahan family.
That’s according to criminal correspondent Paul Williams, who told Newstalk Breakfast the arrest is “a very good start for law enforcement”.
“Liam Byrne is one of the most significant figures who has been arrested by Gardaí since the breakout of this notorious Hutch-Kinahan feud,” he said.
“He’s 42 now, but he’s been around and very active in criminal activity in [Dublin] city since he was a teen.”
Mr Byrne has been in Dubai since 2021 to avoid arrest by the UK National Criminal Agency, but was arrested when he travelled to Majorca to see family.
Mr Williams said this trip shows the extent of Mr Byrne’s “arrogance”.
“Sometimes [criminals] are not particularly bright – it shows he thought he was safe to make such a brutal mistake.”
"The net is closing in"
The arrest of the leader of the Byrne family, a major support of the Kinahan crime gang, is a “major blow” to the organisation.
“The wheels are grinding very slowly, but the net is closing in,” Mr Williams said.
“We’re already seeing the beginning of the end - there are between 60 and 70 people involved in the Kinahan food chain that have all been lifted and are serving sentences here.”
Three prominent members of the Kinahan family wanted in the UK, US and Ireland – Daniel, Christy and Christy Jr – are believed to be hiding in Iran currently.
“They won’t be nipping off to Majorca to visit the family,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams said despite several members of the Kinahan gang being arrested in recent years, the drug-dealing business remains strong.
“There has been no corresponding disruption or shortage of supply in the Irish market,” he said. “As soon as some is seized, they are replaced.
“The Kinahans are one of the most resilient criminal organisations in the world.
“It will be dismantled by virtue of the main characters being taken out of the picture – but [drug dealing] will just be under different management.”
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Main image: US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin speaking at Dublin City Hall, after it was announced that the US government is offering a reward for information on the Irish Kinahan crime gang.