Gardai on high alert as Hutch gangster 'Mago' returns amid hit fears

A GARDA alert has been issued after a Hutch mobster under significant threat from the Kinahan cartel returned to Ireland over the weekend.

Independent.ie has learned that James ‘Mago’ Gately (32)- who has survived two attempts on his life- flew into Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon.

The under-threat criminal had enjoyed a lengthy holiday abroad which included trips to Singapore and China as well as stopovers in the Middle East.

Gardai believe Gately flew out from Dublin to Singapore on December 16, travelling via the United Arab Emirates (UAE)- where several senior Kinahan members are residing.

Having spent Christmas and the New Year abroad, the Hutch associate returned to Ireland on Sunday afternoon, arriving on a flight from a Chinese city.

He again travelled through the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi on his return.

However, despite landing in Dublin, gardai believe ‘Mago’ Gately has already returned to his bolthole in Northern Ireland where he has been staying while under-threat.

Such is the threat to Gately’s life that a garda bulletin was issued ahead of his return, notifying gardai across the city that a “significant” target of the Kinahan cartel was due back.

Gately has survived two credible attempts on his life- including a foiled conspiracy in April 2017 and a shooting the following month.

Last month, we revealed how the chief suspect in that shooting is the target of a “special policing plan” by gardai in the city centre.

Gardai have seized a luxury car linked to the 27-year-old thug and he is regularly subjected to stop and searches.

In November, Estonian national Imre Arakas was jailed for six-and-a-half years for his involvement in the plot to murder James Gately.

He was provided logistical support by a number of people while in Dublin including Eric Fowler, who was shot dead outside his Blakestown home on December 23.

Gardai are probing a number of motives for the killing including that associates of the Hutch gang carried it out in retaliation for Fowler providing logistical support to Arakas.

However, detectives are satisfied Gately had no involvement in the killing as he had left the country over a week before the gun murder.

Gardai at Blanchardstown are also probing if the Fowler murder- described as a “highly professional” hit- was carried out by the Kinahan cartel as an internal clear-out.

Two gunmen are believed to have been involved in the killing and may have been lying in wait for their target for over an hour before the shooting.

The getaway car was found burnt out in nearby Rusheeney Crescent, Clonsilla just minutes after Fowler was shot dead outside his home.

The Hutch/Kinahan feud has claimed around 18 lives since September 2015, with the majority of the killings carried out by the Kinahan crime gang.

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