It’s the spooky moment a hitman from the Kinahan Cartel celebrated the murder of a man who was blown up in front of his teenage daughter.
Our exclusive CCTV footage shows evil killer Lee Canavan arriving at the now closed Little Caesars restaurant near Grafton Street in Dublin on July 1, 2016, at 7 p.m. with fellow killer Freddie Thompson.
Both men toasted the murder of Kinahan’s cartel target, Daithi Douglas, who was shot six times – in the right side of his face, the left side of his chin, his neck, twice in his chest and on his right elbow.
While at the restaurant, the couple, along with compatriot Nathan Foley, of Rosary Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, enjoyed a drink and a meal during the “murder toll”.
Following Thompson’s murder conviction in 2018, Judge Tony Hunt described the rally at the restaurant saying, “There is no doubt that, in retrospect, this was a disturbing and unpleasant occasion.”
But the smile was wiped from Canavan’s face yesterday as he was jailed for life in the Special Criminal Court for his role in the planning and execution of the murder.
ALL THE SUB-CELL OF KINAHAN CONVICTIONED
Although the Special Criminal Court has already been told that he was “the person who literally pulled the trigger”, the court heard yesterday that there was “not enough evidence” to establish that he was was the shooter.
Instead, he was convicted on the “joint venture” basis after his fingerprints were found in a Ford Fiesta and because he was captured on CCTV using the car on the day of the murder.
In its judgment, the court ruled that the cartel infantryman was part of a “joint venture or shared intent” to assassinate Douglas as part of a “meticulously planned execution.”
Canavan was also found guilty of causing criminal damage to a Suzuki Swift after it was set on fire.
Yesterday’s guilty verdict is the first time in the feud that an entire subcell of Kinahan has been convicted of a murder related to the feud.
The Irish Sun also first reveals the trauma suffered by Douglas’ teenage daughter.
In her statement to Gardai, she said: âHe was just eating the curry he had. I just heard the shots. I looked up from the desk and just saw him lying there. There was blood all around. I went to see my father. I was yelling at him. He did not say anything to me.
âI knew he had been shot. I heard it breathe once or felt it. It was my father who was shot. When I went to see daddy, I saw a gun on the ground.
“I don’t know about guns. There was a star on it. I had never seen it before. There were bullets around it too.”
DOUGLAS FOUND BY GIRL
After the murder of Douglas – the tenth murder linked to the Kinahan and Hutch feud – Canavan fled to Liverpool, where he was sanctioned by senior cartel associate Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh.
Within two weeks of the murder, the Kevin Street Guardhouse investigative team identified Thompson and his associates as the main suspects.
As he watched brain Thompson caged for life, getaway driver Gareth Brophy, at Reuben Walk, Dublin 8, go to jail for ten years and his sidekick Foley thrown in jail for six years, Canavan remained. on the run.
During Thompson’s trial he was referred to as “Mr. C âbefore the main character of the cartel is fired.
But Canavan’s life on the run came to an end when he was arrested in Manchester in January 2020. He was later extradited to Ireland before being tried in the Special Criminal Court. Canavan was informed of his conviction for murder after a judgment was read in the Special Criminal Court yesterday.
At Thompson’s sentencing hearing, Judge Tony Hunt condemned the ruthless attack, saying, âWhat we do know is that this man was killed, if not in front of his daughter, who was very young, when she was there, and she ran into her dead relative the day after her execution, because that’s what it was.
âIt’s a terrible thing that happens to anyone. I can’t think of anything worse.
Referring to the Garda team led by Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Det. Peter O’Boyle and Det Sgt. Adrian Whitelaw, who brought down one of Ireland’s most dangerous criminals, Judge Hunt added: âThe level of investigation in this case was second to none and we would like to pay special tribute to Garda Ciaran Byrne and to the entire CCTV team.
“It doesn’t take a big leap of the imagination to think that the two hours we saw were produced on the backs of enormous footwork and boring footwork.”
“ VERY IMPORTANT CONVICTION ”
Chief Superintendent Cleary yesterday praised the investigative team’s efforts.
The senior officer said, âThis is a very important conviction due to the planning, preparation, transportation, logistics, execution and cover-up of this criminal enterprise.
âThe gang knew about forensic medicine. Three of the four people left the jurisdiction immediately afterwards and there was an international element to the investigation.
âI want to recognize the dedication of the investigation team. It was a large and complex investigation that required hundreds of hours of investigative work. We also received support from the Garda Technical Office and the National Criminal Investigation Bureau. “
Superintendent O’Boyle said: âThis was a high level and very professional investigation by the team based in District A of the capital.
âThere was also great cooperation from the community and their support in the aftermath of a gang murder, which often leads to a sense of fear in the community, was invaluable.
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Prior to the shooting, Canavan, who is linked to Gareth Brophy, had been recruited by Thompson to act as his driver. But Gardai believes he was prepared by Thompson to commit his first murder when Douglas was identified as a target in the Kinahan-Hutch feud. He is not a suspect in any other quarrel-related murder.
Douglas was targeted after the Kinahans blamed him for a botched murder offer on cartel associate Liam Roe in November 2015.
But the cartel’s intelligence was completely wrong as Gardai later established that Douglas had socialized at a bar in another part of town at the time Roe was targeted. Although he had no proof, Thompson continued with his plan to kill Douglas.