Kinahan-Hutch feud 'one element' of Kildare murder investigation

Clive Staunton was shot dead in Leixlip last night.
By Cormac O'Keeffe
Security Correspondent

Gardaí are examining the last movements and communications of murder victim Clive Staunton in a bid to determine the circumstances behind the gangland shooting.

Officers confirmed that a possible link with the so-called Kinahan-Hutch feud was “one element” of the investigation.

Mr Staunton was a distant relation of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch through his late wife and through a cousin, who has previously been targeted by the Kinahan cartel.

Gardaí have said that Mr Staunton, who was a street trader, was not involved in any kind of serious criminality and are investigating why he would otherwise have been targeted in such a planned murder.

The 50-year-old widowed father-of-one had been selling merchandise outside the Ireland v Northern Ireland match at the Aviva on Thursday night.

While he typically traded before and after matches, he left his stall on Bath Avenue during the game.

Detectives are examining the reasons for this – whether it was because he may have been in contact with someone and left as a result or simply left because sales were low.

His mobile phone traffic will be examined to see if he received any calls or texts around this time and from who.

Mr Staunton drove from the Aviva, south Dublin, to his home in Leixlip, north Kildare, some 38kms away.

After parking up his van across from his house in upmarket Glen Easton Way estate at around 9.15pm, a waiting lone gunman walked towards him and fired shots through the windscreen and the driver's window.

Mr Staunton tried to flee but was hit three times, including two shots to the head as he lay slumped on the road outside his house.

The gunman fled, possibly with an accomplice, in an “old style” (square back) silver/grey Volvo S40 which was subsequently found burnt out 30kms away in Manor Kilbridge, Co Wicklow.

Gardaí said that while Mr Staunton had some minor convictions for offences such as counterfeiting, he was not involved in criminality.

Garda sources stressed it was very early in their investigation and that they were keeping an open mind.

But detectives are examining if his family connections with the Hutches could have been the reason.

Superintendent Gerry Wall of Leixlip Garda Station said the feud was “one element of the inquiry” and said 30 detectives and gardaí were working through the night on the investigation.

Supt Gerry Wall speaking to the media at Leixlip Garda Station this afternoon.Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins
Supt Gerry Wall speaking to the media at Leixlip Garda Station this afternoon.Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins

The Kinahan-Hutch feud has already claimed between 14 and 18 lives in the last three years, all but two of them carried out by associates of the Kinahan cartel.

Mr Staunton was from Greek Street flats in the north east inner city.

The deceased had moved out many years ago to Leixlip with his family.

His wife passed away a few years ago.

It is understood the deceased lived at the house with his son and his father.

Mr Staunton's own family back in the inner city have been targeted at the suspected hands of the cartel.

A car belonging to a family member was burned out and in March 2017 a cousin was shot in the stomach.

Four members of Gerry Hutch's wider family have already been murdered and two former associates and friends, as well as two completely innocent passersby, have also been killed by the cartel.

It has been ten months since the last feud murders, when two people, Derek Hutch (a nephew of Gerry Hutch) and Jason Molyneux, were murdered by the Kinahan cartel last January.

Mr Staunton was not involved in any kind of serious criminality.
Mr Staunton was not involved in any kind of serious criminality.

Gardaí are asking anyone who saw Mr Staunton or his van, a white Mercedes sprinter 96D22788, with a distinctive red stripe on both sides, between Bath Avenue, Dublin 4 and Leixlip between 8pm and 9.15pm on November 15, 2018, to contact them.

They also want to speak to anyone who was in the Glen Easton estate Leixlip between 8.30pm and 9.30pm to contact Gardaí at Leixlip Garda Station.

In addition, they are appealing for information on the movement of the silver/grey Volvo S40 (old style square back) between Leixlip Co Kildare and Manor Kilbride Co. Wicklow.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leixlip 01 6667800 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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