According to RTE Caolan Smyth was handed a 20 year sentence for his role in the shooting of James Gately, which occurred on May 10, 2017. Gately was shot five times at a petrol station near Dublin Airport. Gately survived the shooting thanks to a bulletproof vest he was wearing, which absorbed four of the five bullets. The other bullet hit Gately in the jaw.
Smyth, a former All-Ireland youth boxing champion, is alleged to be an associate of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG); a $1 billion narcotics trafficking operation. Gately is reportedly a member of the Hutch Gang. The Hutch-Kinahan feud has raged since the killing of Gary Hutch in 2015. Since then at least 18 people have been killed, including David Byrne (a suspected top Kinahan lieutenant) who was gunned down during a boxing weigh-in show at 2016.
Gately has reportedly survived two attempts on his life. In 2018 Imre Arakas, an Estonian national and former wrestler and freedom fighter turned hitman, was arrested in Dublin on suspicion of being sent to the country to kill alleged Hutch Gang members, including Gately. During his trial Arakas was revealed to have said in text messages that he would kill his target with one shot to the head. Arakas plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.
Courts in Ireland have accused Daniel Kinahan of leading the KOCG. In recent months Kinahan’s name has caused controversy in the world of combat sports, as he continues to be linked to the company MTK Global.
Kinahan founded MTK, under the name MGM, but the company has sought to distance itself from Kinahan since their weigh-in was attacked in 2016. It is thought Kinahan was the target of that shooting and that it was in response to a botched assassination attempt against alleged Hutch leader Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch. After that shooting Kinahan moved to Dubai.
Recently the BBC aired an investigative report titled ‘Boxing and the Mob’ in which they alleged that Kinahan remains a central figure in MTK. After the documentary aired Kinahan released a rare public statement saying he was not involved in organized crime. Kinahan also rejected claims that he had threatened the life of one of the journalists who worked on that show.
Despite MTK claiming Kinahan was not involved with the company, many MTK signed fighters have spoken out in support of Kinahan, calling him a friend and advisor. The most noticeable instance of this was when Tyson Fury publicly thanked Kinahan last year for negotiating his deal to fight Anthony Joshua.
More recently boxers Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor and Lee McGregor have spoken out in support of Kinahan.
Since 2016 MTK has grown to be one of the most influential companies in combat sports. They have deals with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, ESPN+ and Everlast. The company also has an MMA division that represents dozens of fighters including Darren Till, Talia Santos, Mounir Lazzez and Sumudaerji.
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