Gerry Hutch
A friend of Gerry \'The Monk\' Hutch was shot dead at a housing estate in Northern Ireland

Escalating gang violence in Dublin has claimed another victim after an associate of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch was shot dead in a car in County Meath, Ireland. Noel Duggan, 58, was killed when at least one gunman opened fire at him at approximately 7.45pm on Wednesday (24 March 2016).

Duggan was known as 'Mr Kingsize' for being one of the country's biggest smugglers of cigarettes. His death is the latest after tensions between rival factions, with links to crime networks across Ireland and Europe boiled over in recent months. At the centre is the reignition of the Kinahan/Hutch feud and that between respective leaders Christy Kinahan and Gerry Hutch.

Hutch – who earned the nickname 'The Monk' through his modest lifestyle – is believed to have ordered the Regency Hotel shooting that killed gangster David Bryne during during a boxing weigh-in February. Reports claimed Byrne was murdered for his alleged involvement in the killing of Real IRA member Alan Ryan in 2012.

Three days later, the Kinahans responded and 56-year-old Eddie Hutch Snr – the brother of Gerry – was shot dead at his home in Poplar Row, north Dublin, after an armed gang smashed their way into his home.

The catalyst for the feud is thought to be the shooting of the Monk's nephew Gary, who was killed in a hail of bullets in Marbella last year. Hutch reportedly refused to meet with the Kinahan clan, whose operations are run from Christy Kinahan's multimillion-pound home along the Costa del Sol in Spain, to smooth over relations.