Kinahan cartel gunman imprisoned for botched murder attempt on Hutch associate

Caolan Smyth became embroiled in two of the most dangerous gun feuds in the country and has been assessed as being at high risk of attack by other prisoners in any of the Republics jails.
Smyth (29), Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, was one of a new generation of criminals to emerge on Dublins gangland scene at a time of great flux as gardaí began to get a handle on the Kinahan cartel.
After the period of peak lawlessness in the Kinahan-Hutch feud in 2016, many of the cartels members in Ireland were jailed or fled the country.
Inside the cartels Dublin operation, fresher faces, including Smyth, were promoted up the ranks to fill vacancies that were arising.
However, while Smyth soon became an established gunman and is a suspect for a range of shootings in recent years, he was not the first choice when the Kinahan cartel wanted Hutch associate James Mago Gately dead in 2017.
Estonian hitman Imre Arakas (62) was the cartels first choice to murder Gately. He came to Ireland in 2017 but was soon caught by gardaí.
Immediately after Arakas was arrested for the murder conspiracy, Smyth took over in the hunt for Gately on behalf of the cartel and in its pay.
He put Gately under surveillance and tracked him to a Topaz garage on Clonshaugh Road, Dublin 17, in May 2017. He opened fire on Gately, who survived because of his bulletproof vest.
As the Garda investigation into that attempted murder began to close in on Smyth, the Meath man was also heavily involved in a drug gang in Coolock, north Dublin.
One of the Coolock gang members, Sean Little (22), was shot dead off the M1 in north Co Dublin in May 2019.
The finger of blame soon pointed to Smyth even though he was friends with Little, one of five men linked to the Coolock gang murdered in 2019. Having been blamed for the Little murder, Smyth was fearful for his life. He travelled to the UK, taking a lie detector test there and posting the results on social media.
Littles father Stephen Little (48), Kilbarron Avenue, Kilmore, Dublin 5 was arrested in September 2019 in north Dublin with a Grand Power G9 semi-automatic pistol and has since been jailed for possession of that firearm.
When arrested he was irate with gardaí, telling them: Had you given me another hour, I would have killed the bastard that killed him.
He was referring to Smyth, whose life gardaí believe they saved on that day.
Smyth will be in his mid-40s by the time he is released from jail, having been imprisoned on Wednesday by the Special Criminal Court for the botched murder attempt on Gately in 2017.