Curious about Dublin gangs because you’ve been wondering if Dublin is a safe city and whether these gangs still exist in 2023?
Dublin is a generally safe city, but before going there it’s good to know that like any other city out there, crime does exist.
And so do Dublin gangs.
In particular, you’ll need to know this name – the Kinahan Cartel.
Their official name is the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) but the term ‘Kinahan’ is enough to make any Dub – that’s someone from Dublin – do a double-take.
We’re Ger and Aisha and as much as we love Dublin and Ireland for all its beauty and sights, we think it’s important for you to know about the rougher side of Dublin too.
Here’s a little deep dive into the world of Dublin gangs like the Kinahan, their history, other Irish gangs, and an update on whether these gangs still pose a threat today.
We want you to stay safe and enjoy what this amazing country has to offer, so read on to stay updated so you know how to stay safe from organized crime groups while traveling!
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What Are Dublin Gangs Called?
There are many Dublin gangs around and collectively they’re known as the Irish mob, with the most infamous of the lot being the Kinahan.
Dublin gangs rose to prominence in the 70s and 80s when illegal drug use was at an all-time high. While there are gangs all around Dublin, the gangs exist mainly in Dublin and Limerick.
Irish police, also called the garda (which can loosely be translated to mean guardians of the peace) have said that there are 25 organized criminal gangs operating in Ireland.
With an international crackdown on Kinahan in the works, it looks like The Family is set to become the next name to be feared in the rough world of Dublin gangs.
History Of The Kinahan
The Kinahan was founded in the 1990s, by Christy Kinahan, and is recognized as an international drug cartel and a criminal gang that is notorious worldwide.
Christy’s son, Daniel Kinahan, is currently the leader of the organization.
Christy Kinahan was always known to the Irish police since the 1970s when he committed crimes such as burglary and theft, but he soon switched gears to drugs in the late 90s.
Fluent in Spanish and Dutch, Christy took his drug trade internationally and began importing drugs from South America into Ireland, UK, and Europe.
To date, his gang, which also bears his name, is rumored to be worth more than $1 billion pounds (roughly $1.2 billion). Alongside drugs, the Kinahan also became a prominent money launderer when dealing with drug profits.
The Kinahan-Hutch Rivalry
Beyond drug trading, the Kinahan also drew attention because of the drug war that happened with the rival Hutch gang in 2015.
The war began when Gary Hutch, nephew of Dublin’s second-largest drug dealer Gerry Hutch, was murdered reportedly by the Kinahan gang in 2015.
Since then, at least 18 people have been shot down, including the high-profile shooting of David Bryne at a Dublin hotel in 2016.
The Possible End Of The Kinahan
With the US government, UK National Crime Agency, the Irish police, and even the United Arab Emirates clamping down on the Kinahan, it seems like the gang is fast collapsing, according to Sunday World.
Daniel Kinahan is said to be located in Dubai and is relatively untouchable because Ireland and Dubai have no extradition treaty.
Regardless, the European Union (EU) has placed the United Arab Emirates on its money laundering blacklist, and in turn, the United Arab Emirates has also frozen Kinahan’s gang members’ assets.
It is anybody’s guess as to whether the Kinahan will gain notoriety again, but Irish Mirror reports that it seems like another gang, The Family, is starting to grow in influence in the Irish drug trade.
List Of Irish Gangs
Here are some of the prominent Irish gangs in Ireland:
- Kinahan Cartel
- Hutch Organized Crime Group
- Continuity Irish Republican Army
- The Westies
Are Dublin Gangs A Problem Today?
Dublin gangs are still a problem in Ireland today, though the situation is not as intense as it was back in the 80s and 90s.
While there are rumors that the Kinahan Cartel seems to be on the verge of collapse, it seems like there are still fears that the cartel is bent on starting a gang war in the streets of Dublin in retaliation.
Kinahan aside, there are still notorious gangster crimes taking place in Dublin, even as recent as 2022.
Food delivery riders have resorted to avoiding parts of Dublin city just to stay clear of gangs.
Some parts they avoid include Cabra and Finglas.
Dublin Gangs Incidents
Some prominent Dublin gang-related incidents in the past years include:
- 2023: Food delivery riders report being harassed by gangs while out on deliveries and having their bikes stolen.
- 2022: Stabbing and fights across the Samuel Beckett Bridge, and the murder of Gary Carey, a convicted drug dealer in August 2022.
- 2021: Olympian Jack Woolley was bashed after a night out in Dublin by more than a dozen men.
- 2020: A 17-year-old was brutally killed north of Dublin in a supposed rival gang fight.
- 2019: Gang murders and feuds took place after 23-year-old Zach Parker, a minor drug dealer, was shot dead over a drug debt.
- 2018: The infamous Kinahan-Hutch gang feud was at its peak with multiple murders, close to four years after it began. The gang feud began with the Kinahan shooting Gary Hutch, the nephew of Ireland’s second-biggest drug lord Gerry Hutch, back in 2015.
Dublin Unsafe Areas
Here are some Dublin unsafe areas based on Ger’s experience growing up in Ireland, and anecdotes from his friends in recent years:
- Cherry Orchard
- Pearse Street
- Sheriff Street
These are areas that you should steer clear of as a tourist and not head to unless you absolutely have business there or have someone local with you.
Tips To Stay Safe In Dublin
Don’t worry, you’ll be okay in Dublin if you apply these tips to stay safe in the city:
- Stay in safe, well-lit areas away from the notorious gang-ridden areas in Dublin.
- Keep your belongings close to you at all times
- Pay attention to your surroundings when walking around or when taking public transport and try not to use your phone when out and about
- Make sure your valuables are tucked away and not visible or easily taken
- If you want to be doubly sure, use luggage locks or even an anti-theft backpack. These items are tried and tested and they work.
- Use location-tracking apps like Life360 with your friends or family if you absolutely need to walk around in a more isolated place late at night, so they can keep tabs on your location.
- Don’t take private hire vehicles when traveling late at night, and only stick to public transport or licensed taxis.
- Refer to this map marked out by Deliveroo drivers in Dublin on areas to steer clear of if you want to avoid being harassed by gangs.
FAQs On Dublin Gangs
Is Dublin Safe?
Yes, Dublin is a very safe place and Ireland is easily one of Europe’s safest countries.
The city may have its incidences of crime and gang violence, but it is also very heavily policed, and as long as you keep to the areas that you are supposed to, you will be a-ok!
It also goes without saying that low crime doesn’t mean no crime and one should always be cautious and mindful of your own belongings and surroundings!
Is the Crime Rate High In Dublin?
No, the crime rate is not high in Dublin compared to other areas in Ireland. Dublin itself has the lowest detection rates for murder, assaults, and thefts within the country.
It also has a moderate level of crime at 57.99% according to Numbeo, which is decently safe despite what the news articles may tell you.
Dublin is safe but as with every new country and city you go to, you will need to look out for your own safety and be aware that crimes can still occur even in the safest of places.
What Is Ireland’s Biggest Cartel?
Ireland’s biggest cartel is the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) or otherwise known simply as The Kinahan.
Founded by Christy Kinahan in the late 1990s, the gang is known worldwide for its involvement in the international drug trade.
While it used to have a lot more influence years ago, its position seems to be threatened due to financial sanctions by the US and other global powers, as well as the rise of rival gangs like The Family.
Who Was The Most Feared Irish Gangster?
The most feared Irish gangster was Billy the Kid, who lived in the 1880s.
His real name was William McCarty and he was actually born outside of Ireland, in the Irish slums of New York City, to an Irish immigrant mother.
Billy was known for gunning down at least nine men in the 1880s, and even escaping jail during that time.
He retains his ‘kid’ title because he was only 21 years old when he died.
Within Ireland, another feared Irish gangster is Martin Cahill, a Dublin crime boss who became known as Ireland’s most fearsome and best criminal.
To the Irish, he was known as ‘The General’.
Martin staged some of the biggest heists in Irish history in the 1980s and had even developed a bit of a hero identity much like Robin Hood.
Unfortunately, Martin also met an early finish, dying at the age of 45 years old in 1994 after he was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army or the IRA.
Who Is Ireland’s Most Wanted Man?
Ireland’s most wanted man is currently Daniel Kinahan, son of Christy Kinahan who founded the Kinahan Cartel.
US authorities are offering a $5 million bounty for information on Daniel Kinahan and any other details that may lead to his arrest or the arrest of other Kinahan leaders.
Aside from Kinahan, Interpol has also put out a global warrant of arrest for two Irishmen – James Staurvik and Conor Vincent D’Monte.
Staurvik is wanted for his role in a murder of a Dutch man while D’Monte is also on Interpol’s list for murder.
What Is Ireland Notorious For?
Ireland may be notorious for the Kinahan, but it is also world-famous for producing high-quality beer and whiskey. Names like Guinness and Jameson are well-known worldwide, and yes, they’re all Irish!
Other things Ireland is famous for include:
- Great literary writers like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. You might not be a fan, but you could very well become one after walking in their footsteps around Dublin!
- Irish Hospitality – You haven’t felt it until you’ve gone into an Irish pub right in the heart of Temple Bar!
- Irish Drinks – Beyond Guinness beer and Jameson, there’s also Irish coffee among other drinks!
- Irish Food – We love buttery soda bread but hey, Ireland’s home to way more amazing food! You’ll need to find out for yourself!
- Scenic landscapes like the Cliffs of Moher
- Love for dancing – Don’t be afraid to move those feet or get someone to teach you!
Dublin gangs were very much a part of Dublin and Ireland’s history and still are present today.
We’d be lying to you if we tried to tell you they didn’t exist and paint a rosy picture before you visited.
But despite that, we hope that you can see that this country has so much more to offer beyond its rough parts and messy gang history.
Yes, Dublin is safe, but yes, crimes and gang violence can still occur, as with any other city in the world really.
We hope this article sheds some light on the lesser-known part of Dublin and its interesting history and that you’ll gain a newfound understanding of the country that we both love very much.
You’ll do well to follow our tips on staying safe in Dublin and hey, if you feel a little scared, why not hire a tour guide to take you around Dublin?
They’ll provide you with little insights as well as an unfiltered view of this amazing city.
Take a chance in this bustling beautiful city, you won’t regret it!
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