A Shooting in Summerhill

April 25, 2016. Two armed men wearing boiler suits and Freddy Krueger masks barged into a northside boozer at the Sunset House midway through a raffle for republican prisoners. Quickly identifying their mark, the pair opened fire on the pub’s manager, Michael Barr, leaving the father of five riddled with bullets as pandemonium erupted inside the establishment.

Getaway plans involving the duo flying to Dubai to lay low for a month were not to avail, with a series of juryless trials sentencing a total of four men implicated in the murder of Mr. Barr to various life sentences.

Opaque, as is most outside understanding of Dublin’s criminal underworld, it is loosely believed that the gang set out to kill Barr, a prominent Tyrone-born dissident republican, at the behest of the Kinahan cartel. 

Coming just weeks after the still as-of-yet mysterious botched assassination attempt on Daniel Kinahan that tilted the Republic’s politics briefly on its axis and embroiled a Sinn Féin councillor, the saga that eventuated in Barr’s murder was typical of the confluence of inner city republicanism and insurgent narco politics from the mid- to late-2010s.

From the murder of Alan Ryan in 2012 and even going back to the 90s heyday of ‘The General’ aka Martin Cahill, a veritable shadow war had transpired between republican gunmen and hoodlums in the estates and public houses of the Fair City. 

Woefully misrepresented by UK-owned tabloids with an anti-Shinner agenda and often involving dodgy dealing from Gardaí and even British intelligence, these subterranean narco spats have been a good register on working-class life during the transformative Celtic Years and into the Crash. 

Without the tact of the Sicilian Mafia or the ruthless networks of the Albanians until the flaring up of the Kinahan-Hutch feud, these native-born narcs were easily kept at bay by Ireland’s culchie defence league, An Garda Síochána. 

More a public nuisance on the social periphery than the type of mob warfare that truly rots a society, Kinahan’s heavy internationalisation in the 2010s radically changed the game as cocaine was popularised in post-Crash Ireland. In essence, gangland slipped the leash, fueled by savvy international alliances and a cocaine-hungry public.

Becoming pointmen for Latin American cartels and Moroccan gangsters operating out of Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe, the Kinahan family, while now past their operational peak, brought domestic crime agencies to the brink, forcing the use of the Troubles-era Special Criminal Court, the Republic’s last line of judicial defence when it comes to political and criminal foes.

Still outside the clutches of the public prosecutors through their Dubai holdout and now rumoured by red-tops to be scoping East Africa for economic prospects, the Kinahan saga essentially summarises the new multipolar era we are waking up into.

While the law plays clean up at home, a totally new factor beckons to dictate the next generation of narco politics in Ireland, stemming from a very significant change in the demographic makeup of Irish society.

15 minutes from the now renovated and renamed Sunset House, where Michael Barr breathed his last, is a relatively new chapter in Irish crime history.

East Wall International Protection Centre.

Cocaine Meets Camp of the Saints

Home to 380 international protection applicants hailing from Algeria, Georgia, Albania, and whatever slipped under the fence from Africa, the IPAS centre has already been dogged by abuse claims, with some residents already picked up in the area for petty criminality. East Wall is believed by residents to be a conduit for the Albanian people traffickers moving residents north of the border and onto the UK, as even the mainstream press expresses concern at the chaotic nature of the asylum centre. 

Now synonymous with the grassroots resistance against the country’s dysfunctional asylum system, the East Wall centre is awkwardly juxtaposed between largely homogenous Irish working-class estates and the nouveau riche IFSC and was just the first area to kick off as Ireland’s asylum wars went mainstream. 

Those with good memories may remember ominous turf wars near the East Wall between Deliveroo drivers and local criminal teens, culminating in the acquittal of George Bento for stabbing 16-year-old John Dunne amid bizarre scenes of Brazilian drivers riding in packs to prevent their co-nationals from being ‘hunted’ by native delinquents.

To the west of East Wall lies ground zero for the Parnell Square riots as local youths, many of whom went toe to toe with Brazilian Deliveroo drivers, ran rampant through the north inner city following the stabbing at a local school.

Dublin’s racial geography and class dynamics entail that crime, for now, is largely at the hands of native-born roughs now coming into contact with the dregs of the third world as Roma gypsies continue their occupation of north O’Connell Street, with a recent conurbation of Somalis off Dorset Street adding to the ethnic confusion.

An urban environment of Irish younfellas and various foreign rackets is increasingly battling it out for street level dominance as larger and more sophisticated gangs from Nigeria to Eastern Europe begin to stretch their muscles amid the de facto Brazilian favela quarter of the north inner city.

GAA fans who make their way past the Quays find a modern-day Five Points with COVID abandonment of the city centre, only expanding the horizons of the multicultural hellhole markedly different from a more bourgeois Grafton Street. 

Rather bluntly, this patch between Temple Bar and the Rotunda is a microcosm of the racial hell that Irish society at large will mutate into should the demographic transition continue unabated in the coming years as Dublin’s already poor city planning collides with non-Irish majorities and narco culture.

The Irish in the inner city have a window of opportunity of about a decade to push back both politically and on the streets before these new alien communities become properly settled, akin to the demographic handover that has already transpired in London or Birmingham. 

The Dub may go the way of the Cockney by midcentury, as this ethnic ecosystem is chewed away at between the weight of gentrification from above and a multicultural blender from below, with sporadic gang violence a mere symptom of the gothic transformation at hand.

As this ferment occurs on Dublin’s street corners and dodgy phone shops, darker clouds are on the horizon for the nation at large as new foreign players fill the vacuum left by an erstwhile Irish gangland.

Salazar O’Shea and the Sinaloa Kerry Cartel 

From Mexican cartels uncovered to be penetrating local gombeens in Kerry to Hezbollah and Moroccan drug runners being busted in rural Cork, nevermind Black Axe affiliates in West Dublin, the next chapter of Irish gangland lore is being written and is decidedly foreign in extraction.

The last splutterings of native gangland could be seen in the form of the overly extended Kinahan cartel bringing too much attention to its operations as new actors beckon to enter the scene from abroad.

Ground-level Irish dealers are relative amateurs and will be prone to being swept away in the ongoing plantations by Brazilian, Albanian, and even Middle Eastern criminal counterparts with a more robust business model.

The lasting impact of Kinahan and company could be opening the door to Latin American cartels and Moroccan drug kingpins already operating under the radar in Ireland, using the Republic’s lax security as a waystation for their vice empires.

If the transnational whack a mole of the past eight years has stumped Irish law enforcement, then the looming narco-wars will easily outpace a rotting Dublin security state.

Moroccan and Kurdish gangs have already gotten their talons into their respective host nations in Benelux and Sweden as Ankara-backed Turkish Grey Wolves and Albanian racketers sow the seeds of long-term power across Europe.

With its tendency to command the loyalty of angry men and the nexus of dark money to boot, narco-politics often sends the tone of real-world politics with the petty criminals and drug lords of today, potentially the parents of political leaders a generation hence. 

“If you think we’re bad, wait till you see what’s coming after us,” the infamous heroine baron Larry Dunne intoned at a sentencing hearing in 1985. Irish gangland is shedding its skin and mutating far more potently than the rump of trigger-happy junkies we are used to as these criminal enterprises eye up our shores.

Posted by The Burkean

One Comment

  1. Ivaus@thetricolour 28/06/2024 at 4:18 pm

    The proverbial shite has not quite hit the fan yet , but it is guaranteed to do so , soon , and by the bucket loads.
    Another kip like Malmö , where locals leave the the City to facilitate the 3rd world criminal ghetto dwellers , parts of Dublin already at 6% occupancy rate of ethnic Irish.
    A rating of 39 , as most liveable Cities globally. Honestly, think about it,
    do you need to rate past 10 for fu.k sake.
    So called planning turned it into a poxy eyesore with it’s Shantytown Frontier style cheapo bazaar, gaming dens and pigswill takeaways.
    All the imported illegal scammers plying for all forms of criminal enterprise, drugs and prostitution. Not a safe place for children either, who become victims of stabbing whilst leaving school.
    A prison system that has reached highest record in history, over 50K.
    Highest level of Homeless Irish in a City that guaranteed 100s of Ks of Foreigners , keys to their own homes.
    A minister admitting the use of Cocaine by users in Leinster House.
    A police force, riddled by corruption, drugs, and connected to importation.
    A defence force recording high levels of criminal convictions , the latest A First Class Cowboy and Coward, bragging about battering an innocent defenceless female in public, then walking free from a useless justice system because he cried and winged like the sucky baby that he is.
    A Tshock that now struts about with his Public Funded ARMED UNIT,
    one of the many in the Dail that has brought across Irish borders the PROFESSIONAL criminal cartels that deal in making your life a misery,
    while it costs you in taxes,abuse,assault and murders, without any protection, armed or otherwise…a sitting duck.

    They’ve well and truly Fu.ked up Dublin,they know it and we know it too
    They’ll well and truly Fu.k up Ireland too, and you will see it again, in slow motion first, but quickly accelerating to an unstoppable disaster.


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